A very brief overview of the seventy year history of air structures will trace the evolution to encapsulating arctic worksites. Its desirable working under controllable conditions inside an air structure because it results in higher quality of work, year-round work, and improving worker safety.

A encapsulated worksite allows the personnel to use lighter work clothing and move more effectively. Additionally, wind chill effects on people are eliminated plus problem of drifting snow over work and the tools will not occur. The lightness of an air structure allows mobility plus remote site installations by air cargo aircraft.

The manufactured air structure will last for decades like most construction equipment. Air structures can be utilized each winter to construct project after project by an active organization or sold to another firm to recover a majority of the initial cost of the facility.

An Alaskan case history of a three acre (1.21 ha) column free air structure used to shelter construction of one project during the winter of 1985 and another facility during the winter of 1986 will demonstrate these advantages. The author will relate lessons learned and successful use of this facility by two different contractors. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from equipment operating inside the air-structure is the major safety issue. Unique safety concerns and worker protection will be discussed.

Arctic foundation systems for anchoring the air-structures will be presented, plus untested conceptual solutions.

Technology improvements continue to be made and the author will discuss trends in the air-structure industry that will result in more desirable product for use in the arctic.

A list of manufacturers and an extensive bibliography will be provided to assist the practicing professional or researcher.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.