In our uncertain business climate one thing is for sure, there will always be a need for high quality temporary buildings from a reliable supplier. Rubb Buildings Ltd, based in Gateshead, has a forty-year history of satisfied customers across a variety of industry sectors, including manufacturing and warehousing and logistics, as well as sporting organisations and the armed forces.

Steph Coyle
Sales Executive and Rubb Warehouse Specialist

In the warehouse and logistics sector the biggest call for Rubb’s products is as warehouse space solutions to ease the ongoing shortage of available storage space near existing premises. Rubb Buildings’ Steph Coyle, Sales Executive and Rubb Warehouse Specialist, spoke to Warehouse & Logistics News.

Warehouse & Logistics News – Steph, what does your role involve day to day?

On a daily basis, I deal with enquiries and ongoing projects from a range of industries and professions such as architects, consultants, project managers and the end user client directly. I liaise with a lot of sub-contractors and I work with our in-house design team to develop the best solution to my clients’ needs.

WLN – Who else is in the Sales team with you? How are you geared up to service the warehouse and logistics sector?

Here in our sales team, along with myself, is our Sales Manager Andrew Knox, who has been with the company for 16 years, working in all departments of the business. My fellow colleague, business development and military sales specialist Grant Davidson, also works within the sales department along with our newest member of the team, Henry Robinson-Moore, who takes care of our service and maintenance department. Our team dynamics work very well with one another. We thrive on developing innovative and fresh ideas to bring to the table, reflecting the next key developments within our industry.

Belfast Harbour.

WLN – How do your buildings differ from conventional buildings?

Our buildings are fabric-covered structures made of structural steelwork and PVC cladding, which offer a high quality, affordable, alternative solution to conventional warehouses. Our structures can often save around a third of the cost as opposed to a traditional build facility, likewise the running costs of our facilities can be reduced compared to traditional structures.

WLN – How temporary are they?

While often seen as a temporary solution to a storage space challenge, which we are happy to provide, our buildings are built to last, and can be a good investment for people with changing logistical and operational requirements. Our galvanized steel framework has a guarantee of 25 years and our PVC a guarantee of 10 years, with this in mind however we have structures still in use which were installed 40 years ago.

WLN – To expand on that, the UKWA, among others, have been commenting recently on the current lack of warehouse space in general in the UK. How do Rubb’s fabric building products support this need and solve people’s storage space challenges?

Our solutions are a great answer to this challenge. We can work together with the client to develop custom warehouse facilities with quick lead times as opposed to traditional build warehouses, in terms of both manufacture and installation. Our structures are also both adaptable and relocatable, as well as being cost effective compared to traditional facilities.

WLN – For people who haven’t come across your products before, what are the benefits of Rubb buildings?

The benefits of our buildings include fast design, manufacture and construction, with the flexibility to be adapted, modified, extended or relocated if needed.

WLN – Why choose Rubb Buildings?

We are market leaders within the tensile fabric building industry and our warehouse solutions are custom designed specifically for the geographic location in which they will be situated. We design our structures to all relevant standards and codes to deliver the highest quality UK manufactured facilities. We source many of our materials from local companies and we even galvanize our structural steelwork at a plant only five miles from our factory.

WLN – Can your buildings and overall solutions be tailor made to particular clients?

They can be custom designed to suit the site and climate controlled too. We can also offer additional products and services such as insulation options, maintenance plans and rental opportunities, if people need additional flexibility logistically or financially.

WLN – By way of background, when did Rubb Buildings start and who founded it?

Rubb Buildings Ltd started life in 1977 under the management of Finn Haldorsen.

Tradewood & Co, located in Northern Ireland.

WLN – When did the present Rubb Buildings as we know it come into being?

Back in 1981, Rubb was tasked by the RAF to assist in supplying military buildings during the Falklands conflict. It was here we cemented our name within the industry. We have since produced many innovative buildings for many sectors over the years, taking our portfolio from strength to strength, including many facilities within the storage industry such as fantastic structures for Belfast Harbour, Tradewood & Co and Harland and Wolff.

WLN – Where do you make the buildings you supply?

Our buildings are designed and manufactured here at our offices and manufacturing plant on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

WLN – What different structures do you offer and what sizes do they come in? What do they cost?

We offer a wide variety of structures ranging from pre-designed shelters to large storage facilities. In terms of size we can offer anything from a 3m span to 100m clear span structure. Costings of our facilities are tailored to each specific project, budgetary costings for facilities are available via contacting our sales department.

WLN – What are the most popular size buildings you provide in the warehouse and logistics sector? What’s the largest building you have supplied? And the tallest?

The most popular dimension range for storage facilities tends to be of a 30m span by a variety of lengths. The largest storage building which Rubb UK has supplied is for Tradewood & Co, located in Northern Ireland. This project is a triple link 101m span by 95m long, with a sidewall of 8m which provides an overall apex height of 12.9m high. This storage facility features a floor space of 9,595m2. The facility is used for timber storage and also features a 320m2 mezzanine floor for office space. The tallest facility we have provided to date is our first biomass fuel processing and storage facility for energy giant E.ON UK. The 31.5m span x 137.5m long building at Ironbridge Power Station, Shropshire, UK, has an apex height of 21m.

WLN – Can you tell us about your most noteworthy projects in recent times? Do you have customer case studies?

Within my personal project portfolio, my most noteworthy projects of late have been a custom warehouse facility for Belfast Harbour which was a 25m span x 77m long x 7m eaves. I have also recently handed over a smaller packaging warehouse facility, which featured a configuration of 15m span x 35m long x 6m eaves. Projects due for completion include a custom sports facility, which has just been erected in Northern Ireland for a new leisure scheme and I have just recently won a contract for a football training facility.

WLN – Who can people talk to at your company to see what’s right for them?

Myself or one of my fellow colleagues within the sales department would be the first point of contact to discuss the requirement and we will advise based on our previous knowledge and experience, to develop the best solution for the project.

WLN – How do people go about getting one of your buildings? How quickly can you supply them?

We have a range of pre-designed shelter solutions which can be manufactured in a couple of weeks and erected in a matter of days. However, with regards to our custom structures, the element of lead time is very dependent on the configuration of the building required.

WLN – How easily are they erected and relocated? What kind of maintenance do they need?

Rubb buildings require minimal maintenance. We hot dip galvanize our steelwork to protect against the elements and our PVC sheets have self-cleaning qualities. We offer a maintenance contract with all of our buildings in order to stay on top of any minor amendments which may be required.

WLN – And finally, what about the bigger picture? What kinds of customers do you have in other sectors?

Over the years Rubb Buildings has supplied aircraft hangars and storage buildings to the UK Ministry of Defence and other armed forces. In civilian life Rubb has distinguished itself as a trusted provider of temporary and permanent solutions for businesses and other organisations of all sizes needing extra space in a hurry, including ports, shipbuilders, airports, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, sports and emergency relief organisations. But even though those markets are growing, our customers in the warehousing and logistics sector will always be very important to us.