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


Structural Engineer’s passion for design leads from apprenticeship to chartership

Structural Engineer Dale Robinson

Dale Robinson (Structural Engineer, Rubb UK) has recently been elected to become a chartered member of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). The IStructE describes itself as “the world’s leading professional body for structural engineering. Only the best thinkers, designers, and innovators successfully meet our exacting entrance requirements. It’s a tough journey, but it has to be. Once accredited with membership, you will be recognised worldwide as a structural engineer working at the highest level of technical and professional expertise. For many, the Institution is the preferred route to the top.” Read Dale’s account of his journey right here on the Rubb UK Blog…

I was recently elected to become a chartered member of the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE). It’s been a long journey for me and I recall my initial ambition to become a chartered structural engineer was in 2005 while working for Rubb Buildings Ltd. I’d always had a passion for design, which only became greater during my engineering apprenticeship, prior to joining Rubb. While working at Rubb I was introduced to the wonderful and complex side of structural engineering.

The institution of Structural Engineers is believed to be the leading professional body dedicated to structural engineering. To gain chartership of the IStructE is a rigorous process and tests competence in all aspects of structural engineering.

It’s a four-stage process and you are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Satisfy the educational requirement. A degree generally of minimum MEng or MSc level which must be accredited by the IStructE
  • Complete the Institution’s Initial Professional Development, which consist of 13 core objectives based around all aspects of structural engineering along with a portfolio of work
  • Attend and pass a Professional Review Interview. You are expected to give a short presentation on some of your work which will be followed with an interview process which is based around your portfolio of work and core objectives
  • Attend and pass the seven hour Chartered Membership Examination

When I initially started employment at Rubb I was educated to HNC level (equivalent of A-levels). I immediately recognised the need to fill the gap in the educational requirements. I enrolled to do a part time BEng degree in civil engineering at Teesside University. This was a four-year part time course based on one day a week at university. I performed successfully on the course and graduated with first class honours.

During the course I was awarded the James Winship Jackson Award by the Cleveland Scientific Institution for outstanding performance on an undergraduate course. I was highly commended in the student of the year award by Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE). In my final year I was presented with the Institution of Structural Engineers Student Prize for achievement in analysis and design.

Following completion of my civil engineering degree I progressed onto a full-time Master’s degree in structural engineering. This was a one year course based at the University of Leeds which I succeeded with distinction.

The Institute then sets a series of core objectives which you must satisfy to set standards to apply for your chartership. The only way to achieve the core objectives is through experience in the workplace and it is expected it will take a minimum of four years of full time employment. When your mentor is satisfied you are at the required standard you must demonstrate your experience through a portfolio of work showing clearly how you have achieved each objective, with examples. Submission of the portfolio is shortly followed by a professional review interview. You are required to attend an interview with at least two assessors (experienced IStructE members) for whom you give a short presentation, typically on an interesting past project you have worked on.

This is followed with a more traditional interview process where you will be asked a series of questions based around your experience and the core objectives. If you pass the professional review interview you then become eligible to sit the chartership exam. The exam is notorious for being extremely difficult which is reflected in its pass rate (approximately 35%). It’s a seven-hour exam which you need to fit a week’s worth of work into. Although structural design is a large part of an engineer’s daily activity it is only a small part of the examination. Problem solving, concept, letter writing, appraisal, environmental, programming and health and safety all form part of the questions. You really need to know your “stuff” do get through the exam.

After successfully passing my interview in December (2013) I pulled together a revision programme that I felt would suitably prepare me for the examination. I had planned to start this at the beginning of January, however I didn’t get underway until the start of February. This still gave me 10/11 weeks of preparation. I initially focused on pulling a file together which I would take into the exam. You are allowed to take as much information into the exam as possible, but trust me you don’t get time to look at it! It was useful for example calculations and the odd look up for something you’re not sure of, but the remaining 300 pages went unturned.

I then spent a few weeks looking over examiners comments and some example papers. This gave me a good idea of what the markers were looking for. The last five weeks leading to the exam I would do mock exams on the weekend. I initially started doing a Saturday morning, then progressed onto Saturday and Sunday mornings, eventually doing a full day Saturday. I don’t think I ever got a full mock exam finished in the allocated time, probably because you can’t comprehend the psychological pressure until you actually sit the exam.

You naturally come out of the exam drained and because you haven’t had time to reflect during the exam you start to replay it through your head straight away. You start to focus on what you think you’ve done wrong or could have done better. Needless to say the three-month wait for the result is excruciating. However, receiving the information I passed was fantastic news, and because of the low pass rate and the fact the majority of people do not pass first time, I felt it was even a greater achievement.

To become a chartered structural engineer is something I take great pride in and my employer and family share in this pride. This is not something that has been easy and has taken considerable effort, time and sacrifice. This will no doubt benefit Rubb for years to come and puts us in a strong position as ever in regards to design and development.

Now I have achieved this it will free up time to delve deeper into some ideas and innovations that I have thought about for some time and will hopefully develop some research. I don’t view achieving my chartership as the end of the journey; it’s just the end of an early chapter.

Dale Robinson

Structural Engineer / Design Manager

BEng Msc CEng MIStructE

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.

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.

A Day of Firsts for Women in Aviation

Be it commercial flight, space aeronautics, or military piloting, here at Rubb, Inc. we are very interested in anything under the umbrella of aviation. Rubb has supplied aircraft hangars, air cargo facilities and ground support buildings, including airport terminals, to numerous airlines, airports, military organizations, and even NASA for over thirty years. And although our buildings are as dependable, if not more, than they were thirty years ago, there have been many milestones in the world of aerial navigation since the turn of the twentieth century. Two of the most significant of those milestones occurred on June 18th in the years 1928 and 1983, and they were pioneered by two of the most influential American women to date.

Amelia_EarhartAmelia Earhart, born on July 24th, 1897, was a natural adventurer and tomboy, making her the perfect candidate for piloting. After a ten-minute passenger flight in 1920, Earhart knew that she belonged in the air, and spent the following year saving up for flight lessons. On May 23rd, 1923, Earhart became the 16th woman in history to be issued a pilots licence, and after five years of activity in the aviation community she finally had the opportunity to put her ability to the test. On June 18th, 1928, Earhart successfully landed in South Wales, England after a 20 hour and 40 minute flight across the Atlantic from Newfoundland, Canada. That day would forever be known by the first transatlantic solo flight piloted by a woman. Earhart continued to make aviation history through other solo transoceanic flights as well as in long-distance air racing competitions until her disappearance in 1937 during an attempt to fly across the world. Her reputation and fame, however, proceeds her, as she is known today as one of the most remembered and accomplished pilots in history.

Sally RideSally Ride was born on May 26th, 1951, and like Earhart, was very passionate in everything she did. So after receiving a bachelor’s degree in English and Physics, followed by her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University, she was an obvious candidate for the NASA space program which she joined in 1978. After five years of aeronautic development, ground communication, and astronaut training, she was ready for her first flight into space. On June 18th, 1983, Ride became the first American woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger, and would spend over 300 hours in space during the rest of her NASA career. Ride later retired from NASA and carried out the rest of her life teaching, writing, and encouraging science in education. She died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 at age 61. Ride is one of the most esteemed astronauts of our time, whose legacy lives on through her achievements in aviation.

June 18th has become a day to remember for aviation lovers across the world. So in honor of Earhart and Ride and all of their accomplishments, Rubb would like to say thank you to all of the aviation pioneers out there. And in the words of Earhart herself, “The most effective way to do it is to do it.”

The Benefits of Hot-Dip Galvanization Answered by Rubb

If you are in the market for a steel framed building, careful thought should be given to the construction materials, and ultimately, on the manufacturing process of the structures’ framework to ensure its quality and longevity. You could have the steel painted; although the paint is prone to chipping, which can result in rust damage. You could have the steel pre-galvanized; although the welding process strips off the zinc, making the weld point susceptible to rust . Or you could have the steel hot-dip galvanized, a technique used in the post-production of all Rubb Buildings. But before deciding on a process, it is important to understand what exactly galvanization entails.

Galvanization is the process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron to prevent rusting. The most common method used today is hot-dip galvanization, in which the steel or iron is submerged in a tank of hot zinc in its fabricated shape to ensure the entire structure gets coated, and therefore, is completely protected from rust and erosion. And you might not think so, but hot-dip galvanization is much more intricate than simply giving the steel a zinc bath.

Before being submerged, the steel must undergo a caustic cleaning. This involves soaking it in a hot alkali solution to remove any contaminants such as oil or grease built up during production. Then the pieces are subjected to pickling, a cycle in which the steel is immersed in an acid solution to remove surface scale and any existing rust. Finally, before getting dipped in zinc, the steel must be put through the fluxing process. The flux is a substance used to r
 oxides from and prevent further oxidation of fused metals, and in the case of hot-dip galvanization, zinc ammonium chloride is used. Because the density of the flux is less than that of the zinc, it floats on the surface, allowing for fluxing and coating to be done simultaneously.

Now that you know hot-dip galvanization is, I’m sure the next question on your mind is “How much does it cost?
Golden Gate Bridge

Although every structure will have a unique cost depending on the size, shape, and other project specs, you really want to be thinking about how long you want your building to last. Post production hot-dip galvanizing to the framework offers corrosion protection that is far superior to other construction types, minimizing maintenance costs and ensuring long term structural integrity. And that’s the key – long term savings. A case study showed that if the Golden Gate Bridge had been hot-dip galvanized, the potential savings would be around $319 million. That’s enough to build the entire bridge several times over!

So if you are in the market for a steel framed building, you have to decide; do you want a structure that is going to rust, or do you want it hot-dip galvanized?

Rubb USA Erects Chevron Maintenance Building

Sanford, ME – Rubb Building Systems completed work on a BVR structure maintenance building for Chevron Corporation earlier this April in Questa, New Mexico. The seven span structure was erected atop ISO containers that would provide the clearance needed to service equipment and store materials.


After seeing the structure provided by Rubb for Thyssen Mining, Chevron felt that the BVR container design would be a good fit for their maintenance building. The project included design, manufacturing, and installation of a 40 foot candle lighting, I-beam foundation, Thermohall insulation, ventilation and electrical systems. “We didn’t have issues with anything,” said John Cisneros of Chevron in regards to the customer service and quality of the building provided by Rubb USA, “It was an A+ experience.”