Weatherhaven – Shelter to armies and NGOs

Shortly after a major wind storm, crews arrived at an Arctic mining camp expecting the worst. When they arrived they found, as expected, their permanent wooden camp buildings were destroyed, the pieces strewn around like matchsticks. What they didn’t expect was what they noticed next—the only things left standing were the portable, temporary shelters supplied by a Burnaby company, Weatherhaven. “They were virtually left untouched,” said Weatherhaven CEO Ray Castelli with a laugh. For almost 30 years, Weatherhaven has been building portable shelters for everything from the military and the eco-tourism industry to mining and oil-and-gas exploration companies. The shelters, built in a South Burnaby plant overlooking the Fraser River, are made of aluminum or steel frames covered in layers of polyurethane and insulating material. They can be taken down on a moment’s notice, moved and reinstalled in a new location, as the armed forces are apt to do in warzones, such as in Afghanistan, where Weatherhaven’s installation is home to 2,000 Canadian soldiers. Within a matter of hours, a new base camp can be ready for use. And these are a far cry from a typical camping tent. These are a home away from home, fully equipped with electricity, heat, air-conditioning, clean water, washrooms, kitchen, exercise and sewage treatment facilities, said Castelli. In Afghanistan, the shelters are complemented by another Weatherhaven product, modified shipping containers where the sides are designed to fold down, tripling the floor space. The containers are used to house complete kitchen, washroom, medical or surgical facilities. As for the shelters themselves, they’re highly insulated and designed to withstand the hottest and coldest climates in...