A Rubb Arctic adventure

“What an experience!” were the first words spoken by long time Rubb USA site supervisor and current salesman Marc Boutet after spending nearly a month overseeing the erection of a Rubb BVR on the polar ice cap.

Rubb USA has completed a 32’ x 97’ BVR structure at Summit Station CH2M Polar Hill Services, in Greenland, for the National Science Foundation.

Located at 72° 36′ N latitude, and at an altitude of 10,600 feet with a mean annual air temperature of -31°, Summit Station has long challenged the physical fitness of its visitors.

In the spirit of “a picture is worth a thousand words” we can reveal a handful of recently taken photos related to the project and provide some interesting insight.

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C-130: Shipping and Receiving

The Rubb building was neatly packed and delivered via a USAF C-130 equipped with skis to land on the ice cap. The interior of the plane was ‘tight quarters’ as you can see in the picture below. That is the Rubb building to the left.

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Free refrigeration

Food and supplies are stored ‘undersnow’ in a dug out cavern. Due to snowfall the depth of the cavern increases significantly over time to the point where the crew will dig a new ‘refrigerator’. From the photo below you can see the crew moving supplies into the cavern.

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Not your average Ritz-Carlton

Sleeping arrangements at Summit Station… room service?

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Building under construction:

The work begins…

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With building framework complete, the gable end is lifted into position.

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The Thermohall PVC ‘sheets’ are pulled/adjusted onto the frame via snowmobile.

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The cladding on this building is R-35 rated Thermohall with 8” of high density insulation, after all the temperature can reach -100F! Rubb Thermohall is designed to withstand and perform in the harshest of environments.

Interior of building:

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The BVR will be equipped with a generator driven lighting and heating system. The structure will support operations at Summit Station and will primarily serve as an equipment and maintenance shed. The building is set upon a foundation of wood/metal that can be best described as an ‘oversized toboggan’. Thus the structure can be moved periodically to prevent being ‘snowed over’. Rubb innovation at its best!

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When asked what was most interesting experience about the Greenland project, Marc smiled and immediately said departing the site on a C-130. “The runway, actually ‘snowway’ is over three miles long and lined mostly with black flags. When you see red flags the plane must stop and turn around and try to take off again in the opposite direction. This is at nearly 11,000 ft. and the snow creates a lot of friction. After three failed attempts to lift off we stopped and the land crew attached portable ‘rockets’ to the plane to help us gain enough speed to gain altitude. I heard a couple of ‘booms’ and up in the air we went! All I could think was… what is going on? Well, I made it!”

More Rubb adventures to follow!

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