Discussing Skien Harbour’s third Rubb hall with Ove Gunleksen and Erik Storhaug

Developing halls that can withstand the harshest of weather has been a staple of Rubb AS since 1966. 

At Skien harbour terminal on Grenland’s Frierfjord, terminal manager Ove Gunleksen can attest to the site’s exposure to the elements. The first Rubb Hall was built on the harbour area in 2015. Now three of them are in place, and the harbour’s terminal manager can safely report that they are fully satisfied. 

“No doubt, the halls are an important part of the harbour,” Ove Gunleksen said.  

“I can promise that the weather can throw anything at us. There is a clean wind tunnel up the fjord when conditions are unfavourable, but we have never had any problems. They have endured all the wind and weather over the years. 

“In addition,” Gunleksen continued, “in the winter they have the advantage of the snow just running off the side without us having to pick up a shovel.”

Quickly in place 

Skien harbour terminal is part of Grenland Harbour IKS, which—like many harbours recently—has seen an increased demand, prompting their interest in canvas halls. Rubb AS was chosen, and they were so satisfied with the first one hall that two more followed over the next few years. 

“An advantage is that it was quick to get them up. Erik and his people took care of it,” Gunleksen said. 

Erik Storhaug, Rubb AS MD commented: “It took only 12 weeks from planning until the hall was completed. That includes all case processing, applications, and construction of the hall. In most cases, it is faster to get a permit than with a traditional steel building.” 

Withstands harsh weather 

One of the reasons why fabric halls are preferred over steel halls both in Grenland and the world over is precisely because the halls are quick and easy to erect. Simply put, the hall can be set up if the ground is flat and the conditions are right. There are various solutions to get them safely grounded. In the Skien port terminal, it was easy to arrange foundations.  

Rubb has solved the weather challenges with Serge Ferrari’s fabric, which is the only supplier on the market to stretch the yarn during production before the PVC coating is applied. As a result, the fabric stretches minimally and stays tight even when the weather is at its wildest. 

“There’s been no fluttering or signs of instability during storms over the years,” Gunleksen said. 

More and more Thermohall® 

 In Skien harbour terminal, two of the halls are Thermohall® insulated. During winter months on the harbour, they notice the difference. 

“There can be challenges with condensation in our uninsulated buildings during winter, but in these two there are no problems,” Gunleksen explained. 

Erik Storhaug says that they deliver both insulated and uninsulated, depending on the needs of the customer.  

“We are noticing an increasing demand for Thermohall®. They, like all other halls we have, can be delivered in flexible sizes and with different solutions.  

“One of our customers handles herring and mackerel and is completely dependent on accurate temperature control. It has worked very well for them,” added Storhaug. 

Flexible solutions 

 When Storhaug talks about the characteristics of his halls, he also points out that it is actually quite possible to move a hall. It provides flexibility and also the opportunity for resale. 

 “We deliver halls for a number of purposes,” Storhaug explained. “Our largest delivery was a 100m x 85m aircraft hangar in Hawaii, and a 30m x 200m cooling hall in Ørland. 

 “We have set up sports halls, delivered to fisheries, aquaculture, and the oil industry—to name a few. But Rubb sees harbors as a very interesting and growing area, not least because we specialise in halls that can withstand harsh weather.  

 “In addition, we have noticed that more and more people are interested in renting, not owning halls. That is also part of our concept, via our sister company RentHall Gruppen,” Storhaug concludes. 

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Ross Purcell

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r.purcell@rubbuk.com

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