Quick storage solutions are the first port of call

Rubb has been quick to react to the ever-changing needs of busy ports, creating a range of storage warehousing structures to suit our clients’ requirements.

The benefits of quick storage fabric structures are their relatively affordable cost, quick construction, and their portability – they are easily relocatable and adaptable to accommodate ports’ changing needs and products warehoused in line with cyclical world trade activities.

Port warehousing these days is highly competitive, but fabric structures are gaining popularity as they become tried and proven. Rubb has installed a series of quick storage warehouse structures, which demonstrate just how compatible and reliable these fabric structures are in a variety of environments.

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Recently Rubb designed, manufactured and built its fourth steel-framed, fabric-clad storage building for Belfast Harbour (pictured above). The latest structure is 32.5m wide and 76.5m long and features 6.75m high sidewalls, with outside tapered column legs, which ensure all internal walls have a straight vertical face, making the most of the internal space.

Rubb’s signature hot-dip galvanised steel frame and high tenacity PVC covering membrane ensure very little maintenance is required. The durable PVC membrane cladding on Rubb port warehouses will stand up against corrosion in the harsh marine environment.

Rubb also has a similar port structure at Hendon Docks for the Port of Sunderland and two relocatable animal feed structures for the Port of Workington on England’s west coast, where severe winds and rain are common.

Finn Haldorsen established Rubb in 1966. Although the company started out making tarpaulins and bags from PVC fabric, in 1968 it made the first ‘Rubb Building’. This was the first fabric clad building manufactured in Norway.

Rubb now has offices around the world. In the United States, where Rubb is based in Sanford, Maine, the biggest challenge these days is keeping up with the growing needs of multiple market sectors. However port users still make up 25-30% of the business.

While some people may question the quality of temporary buildings versus permanent structures, USA Marketing Manager Chuck Auger says for Rubb there is no difference. “Our buildings are still built to last. That’s what happens when quality products and engineering are a priority. Our customers have realised that the per day cost of owning and operating a Rubb structure is better value than cheaper options.”

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In the Port of Virginia, Rubb has recently installed a ‘game changer’ for the 130-year-old Newport News Shipbuilding company. The North Yard structure now has two retractable weather covers (pictured above) to allow workers to continue a building program despite the elements that can affect the production facility.

Meanwhile, a large percentage of new Rubb structures are being insulated using Thermohall, a patented insulation system, which is becoming increasingly popular. One example of such a structure completed at an extremely challenging location is a moveable Thermohall clad structure for the U.S. National Science Foundation. The mean annual air temperature where the structure (pictured below) is located is -31 degrees Fahrenheit. On the innovation side, the 9.7m by 29.5m Rubb building has been set on a foundation of wood/metal that can be compared to a giant toboggan, so the structure can be moved over the Polar ice cap periodically to prevent being snowed over.

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For more information about Rubb’s fast and flexible storage solutions, please visit www.rubb.com today.

A Rubb Arctic adventure on the move…

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The Rubb structure built on the ice cap in Greenland for the National Science Foundation has taken a sled ride to a different location.

As previously referenced, the Rubb BVR storage facility, known as the Summit Mobile Garage, is a 32’ x 97’ heavily insulated building designed and engineered to be moved or, more aptly, moved by sled from place to place. Due to massive amounts of drifting snow it is easier to tow the building to a new resting spot rather than remove the piles of snow.

In the pictures above, the site crew is shown towing and pivoting the building to its new temporary location. According to Marc Boutet, who spent a month in Greenland as technical advisor: “The guys told me they waited for a warm, balmy day and dragged the building to a spot less likely to get buried with drifting snow… warm and balmy means a few degrees above zero,” Marc added with a chuckle.

Actually the Rubb building was moved about 400 yards and the crew at Summit Station reported no problems with the move. “That’s because we designed and built it right,” concluded Marc.

For more information on this project or on any other high quality Rubb products go to www.rubbusa.com

Rubb buildings support energy efficiency

Rubb’s white translucent PVC cladding allows natural light to illuminate the interior of our buildings, while reducing the heat island effect on the structure.

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The picture below is an external view of a Rubb fabric building used in some recent infrared tests. It is a 70ft x 80ft x 16.4ft BVE type structure, used as a salt storage shed for the City of Sanford, ME. It was built in 2009 and has performed well for the public works department.

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Thermal images were taken on a sunny spring day, where the sun was hitting the wall and roof at approximately the same angle. Results show that the reflective but translucent white roof is 12°f cooler than the sandstone-colored sidewalls.

The image below illustrates the results of the infrared surface temperature tests on the structure – a typical Rubb storage facility.

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The outcome: a cool and comfortable indoor temperature while avoiding any need for lighting power consumption during a regular working day. These double energy savings help greatly reduce the Rubb structure’s operating costs.

Independent building science consultant Lew Harriman also notes: “We measured the air tightness of this building using a blower door. When its rolling overhead door is closed, it meets and exceeds the U.S. Army’s air tightness requirement to leak less than 0.25 cfm at a pressure difference of 75 Pascals (0.3” W.C). That means the building won’t have uncomfortable drafts, even in the highest winter winds. It also means its air tightness is better than half of the very air tight commercial buildings measured for ASHRAE’s recent research project RP-1478. When any building must be heated, that level of air tightness means big energy cost savings for every year of that building’s long life.”

This is just another advantage of choosing a Rubb building. For more information about Rubb building solutions visit us at www.rubbusa.com or call 207-324-2877.

Upcoming Trade Shows for 2014

We are pleased to announce our calendar of trade shows for the remainder of 2014! Stop by our booths to take a look at PVC samples and brochures, sign up for our newsletter, and speak to some of our sales team members about how fabric buildings can fit your needs. And before visiting Rubb Building Systems make sure to add us on our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Linkedin – #excellenceinengineering

breakbulk_americas_2012_bulkinsideBreakbulk Americas 2014 is the largest exhibition & educational forum in the Americas addressing the needs of traditional breakbulk and project cargo logistics professionals. Breakbulk Americas’ targeted programming will ensure that you develop skills and strategy to help you do your job more effectively. The exhibition will be held on September 29th to October 2nd at the George R. Brown Convention Center (Exhibit Hall E) in Houston, Texas. Rubb Building Systems will be set up in booth 518, and don’t forget to RSVP on our event page for a copy of the official floor plan, a link to the Breakbulk Americas 2014 Mobile App, and daily updates from our booth during the show.

Entete_ENXplor 2014, an event organized by the Association of Exploration and Mining Quebec (AEMQ), is a convention that brings together investors, prospectors, geologists, and service providers who contribute to the development of Quebec’s mining industry. In addition to the trade show, this event offers a program of high-level learning, a conference dinner with renowned speakers, and several social activities promoting business networking. The event will be held on October 22nd to the 23rd at Place Bonaventure in Downtown Montreal, Quebec, CANADA. Rubb Building Systems, along with our partners Aztec Group, will be in booth 504, and don’t forget to RSVP on our event page for a copy of the official floor plan and daily updates from our booth during the show.

canadian_waste_and_recycling_expo_2013The Canadian Waste and Recycling Expo is the premier event in Canada for waste and recycling professionals representing a variety of different sectors, including waste collection, hauling, disposal, storage, and much more. This expo also includes a host of networking events and is co-located with the Canadian Waste to Resource Conference which offers and excellent educational form on the latest innovative developments within the industry. The event will be held on November 19th to the 20th at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, CANADA. Rubb Building Systems, along with our partners Aztec Group, will be in booth 1410, and don’t forget to RSVP on our event page for a copy of the official floor plan, a link to the Canadian Waste and Recycling Expo Mobile App, and daily updates from our booth during the show.

PGIThroughout the years, POWER-GEN International has covered it all, providing a world stage for the innovations, ideas and solutions that have formed our industry for more than two decades.  POWER-GEN International is the industry’s premier platform for numerous new product launches and unveilings—a showcase for products and services such as boilers, turbines, engines, boiler water and feedwater treatment services, computer hardware and software, controls and instrumentation systems, engineering and construction services, generators, plant electrical systems, pumps, valves and valve actuators, and more. The event will be held on December 9th to the 11th at the Orange County Convention Center (West Halls) in Orlando, Florida. Rubb Building Systems will be set up in booth 830, and don’t forget to RSVP on our event page for a copy of the official floor plan and daily updates from our booth during the show.

Ask the Engineer: Occupancy Categories

Ask the Engineer is a blog segment presented by the engineering department at Rubb Building Systems. Our goal is to help Rubb customers to understand the world of structure engineering in a way that is free of jargon and easy to comprehend. We hope to educate, advise, and consult on best practices and why proper engineering is crucial to project safety and cost over the long term.

What is an “Occupancy Category”?

Occupancy category is defined as the purpose for which a building or other structure, or part thereof, is used or intended to be used. “It essentially breaks down to how many people are inside, whether it’s temporary or permanent, and the function of the building,” our engineer explained. There are four occupancy categories, each determined by the nature of the occupancy which is based on elements such as hazard to human life in the event of failure, economic impact, essentiality of the facility, and so on. The basic breakdown is as follows:

Occupancy Categories

Why do structural engineers need occupancy categories?

The purpose of occupancy categories is to calculate your design load, which is the maximum force a building must handle before being deemed unsafe. This is based on the combined weight of the building materials, occupants, and environmental effects such as snow, wind, rain, seismic activity, ice, etc.

What is an importance factor?

Importance factors are numeric values assigned to each occupancy category that will increase or decrease the design loads for snow, wind, rain, seismic activity, ice, etc. when multiplied by the base load. This calculation system is based on a minimum requirement in which the primary intent is to protect the life and safety of the public. Therefore, a higher hazard to human life will result in a higher design load, and a lower hazard to human life will result in a lower design load. Occupancy category II will always have an importance factor of 1.0, thus making the design load the same as the base load.

Who determines the occupancy category?

Occupancy category is determined by the authority having jurisdiction over the project. Although the engineer is not responsible for choosing the occupancy category, it is useful for them to know when calculating design loads for a structure.

How does occupancy category affect building costs?

Depending on the occupancy category, your price will fluctuate to account for the structural requirements and cost of materials. Higher occupancy categories will result in higher costs, and lower occupancy categories will result in lower costs. When researching and pricing out your building, it is important to compare “apples to apples”, and make sure the occupancy category is appropriate for the intended use of the building.

How does Rubb view occupancy categories?

Rubb Building Systems takes occupancy categories and the safety of those in our buildings very seriously. Unfortunately, others may not, capitalizing on technicalities in the wording of each occupancy category. Where does the line get drawn between “minor” and “major”, or “temporary” and “permanent”? “A responsible engineer determines the intended use and the customer needs, and uses their best judgment in determining occupancy category,” our engineer stressed. All of our engineers take the time and care to put the occupancy category on top of every cover sheet, so that our clients can see it up front and use it in correlation with other information. Our calculations are in accordance with the most current building codes, and all plans and drawings are documented and signed before sending them to our clients.

Didn’t answer your question? You can contact us by leaving a comment, e-mailing us, or messaging us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Google+ and we’ll be happy to respond as soon as possible. You can also contact us by phone at 1-800-289-7822 or visit us at 1 Rubb Lane, Sanford, ME 04073.

Maine Innovators of Tension Fabric Structures

fabric innovationWhat do machine guns, toothpicks, and earmuffs all have in common? Seemingly nothing at first, however if you did a little digging you would find that all of these products were developed right here in Maine. And although this state has seen countless other paramount inventions, none comes close to the ingenious works of Charles William Moss and his Pop Tent which inspired and changed the world of fabric structures as we know them today.

Bill Moss was born in 1923 in Detroit, Michigan. Because of his creative nature, he chose to study art at the University of Michigan, the Layton School of Art, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art before getting a job as an artist  and illustrator for the Ford Times in 1949. A few years later in 1955, while still working for Ford, Bill Moss finished the design for his first Pop Tent model, forever altering peoples perception of camping and jumping into a future of fabric structures as a widely accepted industry. Throughout the following twenty years Moss would continue to improve his tent models, and even open his own design firm in Michigan, before moving to Maine with his wife at the time, Marylin, to found Moss Tent Works in 1975 as a retail manufacturing company. Although Moss retired from the company in 1983, leaving it in the hands of, by then ex-wife, Marylin, during his time in Maine he met and touched the lives of many, spreading his wisdom and guiding those who also wanted to dabble in the magnificence of fabric structures. Whether as a personal mentor or in spirit, his reputation brought visionaries from across Maine to the doorsteps of Moss Tent Works. One of these architectural pilgrims was Charles Duvall, who was hired at Moss Tent Works in 1984 and has been working with tensioned fabric ever since.

Charles DuvallBeginning as a camping tent designer at Moss Tent Works, Duvall was strongly influenced by plants and naturally resilient vegetation. His inspiration came from the idea that flowers, vines, weeds, and branches were all seemingly lightweight and delicate, yet strong and durable. This contradiction led Duvall to create some of the most exotic tent designs of his time, making them a world recognized commodity for their integrity, dependability, and charm. Duvall left Moss Tent Works in 1994 in order to start his own company, and in 1995 Duvall Designs was founded in Rockland, Maine. Moving in a more creative direction, Duvall Designs steps away from camping tents and focuses mainly on creative fabrications for architectural installations and exhibit spaces. His works can be seen in locations across the United States.

Cindy ThompsonAnother one of Moss’ most prominent disciples was Cindy Thompson, founder and president of Transformit, a company based out of Gorham, Maine that produces tensioned fabric sculptures. Thompson met Moss by the way of fate when he stumbled across her art at a gallery in Maine. Sharing an adoration for fabric elements in their creative work, Moss helped Thompson further her career by recommending her to Arizona State University, and upon her return to Maine in 1985, the two shared a studio together. Eventually they parted ways, and Transformit was founded in 1988. Since then the company has produced a number of prestigious exhibits, and even collaborated with Duvall Designs on a few projects.

Moss eventually moved to Arizona where he found luxury as a painter before his death in 1994 at the age of 72. But Bill Moss leaves behind an intangible legacy and tradition of fabric structures that is carried on by those who cherished and respected him. Companies like Moss Tent Works (eventually traded to REI and renamed Moss, Inc.), Duvall Designs, Transformit, and us here at Rubb, Inc. owe our thanks and appreciation to the ingenuity of the man known as the father of tension fabric – Charles William Moss.

Hurricane Action Steps

This is a reminder to owners of Rubb Buildings in hurricane zones.

The 2014 hurricane season is upon us, and that means taking the proper precautions to help ensure your structure’s durability through the storm. During a hurricane or tropical storm, wind forces, especially with the presence of tornadoes, can sometimes exceed building code design requirements. Although Rubb Building range products are properly designed to code and engineered to resist substantial wind loads, we stress the importance of following the safety measures outlined below so that you can help to minimize or prevent damage to your Rubb Building and preserve the structure’s integrity and longevity.

  • Close and secure all doors to the Rubb Building. This applies to large equipment or hangar doors as well as smaller personnel doors.
  • Repair any loose or damaged PVC cladding. Excessively loose areas of fabric should be tightened if possible. Tears in the PVC should be patched with a PVC Repair Kit to strengthen the area around the tear and prevent flapping in the wind, which can lead to additional tearing. Cutting a circle in the fabric at the end of the tear will help spread out the tension in the fabric and prevent the tear from spreading.
  • Check base tension of the PVC. The PVC tensioning hardware around the base of the structure should be applying even tension on the covering. Any loose tensioning hardware along the sides should be tightened. Caution: PVC cladding should be tight but over tightening will stretch the fabric and is not recommended.
  • Secure debris in the area. Although a hurricane can carry wind-borne debris for miles, you can help to minimize damage to the PVC membrane and structural frame by securing any loose items on your site that could blow into the building and cause damage.
  • Make sure structure is properly anchored. Some Rubb products, especially non-code designed shelter range products such as the THA, are often secured with ballast blocks and/or around spikes. These should all be in place and properly secured to the structure baseplates, foundation beam or base angle. Check that the proper number of anchor spikes or bolts is being used to hold down the foundation. If needed, secure the frame of the shelter to ballast to help hold it in place.

In the event of emergency please contact our President at 207-651-7821, our Chief Operating Officer at 207-651-7354, or our Site Operations Manager at 207-651-7358.