Now this is what I call a special delivery! Rhebergen Composites successfully delivered a 12 by 6 meter roof from Amsterdam to Basle, using a variety of transportation methods. The Amsterdam based company made the remarkable construction out of composite materials for a luxury office villa in the Northern Swiss town.
Due to the buildings location that needed the roof, it was going to be quite a feat to get the roof there by roads. So, the company had to ship the entire one-off roof on a barge from the company’s location in Amsterdam to Basle. The roof was then airlifted by a helicopter the rest of the way.
“The roof had to be thin, lightweight, very strong and resistant to extreme temperature changes,” says Rhebergen press officer Sophie Dek. “Curving mountain roads made it almost impossible to reach the villa by road, so we organised a spectacular transport by air and water. It was a very complex logistical operation, compounded by the very high quality demands made for the construction by the Swiss architect.”
The roof itself is composed of a sandwich construction of foam, carbon fiber and glass laminate. The entire roof was injected in a vacuum with epoxy. This helps keep the fiber strong while maintaining a low weight. The beams have carbon fiber flanges and the surface of the roof is partly carbon fiber as well. Rhebergen Composites prides their work with composite materials because they “offer considerable freedom in design, with any shape being possible. Whatever we are making, weight saving is a priority and reliability our highest goal.” Sounds like carbon fiber enthusiasm to me!
As you can imagine, many complications could occur during this entire transportation process but from the seven minute video documenting the whole thing, it appears to have gone off without a hitch. Well, it at least appears that way. The video also documents the fabrication and installation of the roof. Be sure to check it out!