Dehumidification and Temperature Control System Marine Terminal Warehouses
Merrill’s Marine Terminal in Portland, Maine has been using Rubb Building Systems membrane buildings since 1984. Over the past twenty years, seven major membrane projects have been completed on Merrill’s Terminal which enclose approximately 250,000 square feet of space. The most recent project with Merrill’s Marine Terminal was also the most complex. This project involved the design, manufacture and installation of a 140’ x 380’ newsprint conditioning facility which connects to an integral 76’ x 67’ truck loading structure.

The conditioning facility provided to Merrill is fully insulated, and climatically controlled. The climate control system was conceived and provided by Cocoon, Inc. Cocoon is Rubb’s partner company on numerous military and commercial projects over the past two decades and also a subcontractor to Rubb on the Merrill project. This Cocoon environmental control system continuously monitors and controls both temperature and humidity of newsprint which is stored and conditioned in the structure. The system also prevents condensation in the 2.3 million cubic facility which can be rapidly loaded with high moisture content paper under a wide range of climate conditions.

Rubb and Cocoon worked closely with the client to develop a functional building plan for the storage, handling and conditioning of rolls of bulk newsprint. This work extended to assistance with obtaining waivers of code-standard sprinkler protection requirements based upon the demonstrated fire performance of the Rubb product. On this project, Rubb’s ISO 9001 quality system warranted the need for a project quality plan to assess requirements and set forth a method to meet customer standards and schedules. Due to the fast track nature of the project, Rubb and Cocoon, along with foundation and site work contractors, effectively streamlined their work schedules. This allowed structural installation and fit-out to proceed concurrent with foundation and site work. This enabled the entire facility to be operational in November, 2005 just four months after receipt of the building permit.

Warehouse Project Attributes

  • Developed complicated structures and systems on tight timeline
  • Worked with client to meet defined requirements for thermal and climatic performance with an integrated structural/mechanical system
  • Successfully met the needs of a demanding client over a twenty-year
  • time horizon
  • PE-approved, relocatable, expandable