Red Dog Mine
Location: Kotzebue, AK
Building size: 10,000 sq. ft.
Number of modules: 56
Modern Building Systems, Inc. built a four-story, 80-room permanent accommodations complex for the Red Dog Mine employees. The temperature on this site can dip down to 75 degrees below zero and the wind chill factor can reach minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
This structure was the fifth wing addition to an existing modular building, increasing the total housing capacity to up over 400 occupants. All materials were transported to the site by barge, which took approximately 45 days from the plant to the site. The only access to the site for the construction crew was to be flown in and Mother Nature determined the workers’ schedules.
Being near the top of the world brought on other problems as well. Wind gusts reached up to 120 mph during winter storms and a permafrost earthen shell required a pile driven into the Earth’s crust at depths of up to 30 feet in some areas. While on-site our workers experience 24 hours of daylight during the summer and 24 hours of darkness during the winter. This posed some special requirements on the building as well. All of the windows were fitted with light blocking shades, so that weary summer workers could get some much needed rest after a long day of mining one of the world’s largest lead & zinc reserves.
Even with the weather and special needs, all modules were placed into position in just five days. The project was completed in just over six months, from engineering to occupancy.