Designing success across Alaska
The future is looking bright for RSA Engineering. With over 300 projects a year and no signs of slowing down, RSA is staying busy providing Alaska customers with high quality designs on schedule and on budget. RSA Engineering was founded in Alaska by Richard S. (Dick) Armstrong as a sole proprietorship in 1983 providing services to the North Slope Borough. After incorporating in 1986 with 11 employees, RSA has grown from one man's vision, to a 34-person operation focusing on cold climate design. RSA has extended services from the North Slope to the Aleutian Chain and beyond. When a majority stockholder recently decided it was time to move toward retirement, RSA employees made the decision to buy out his shares. But they thought they might have a problem. "I never assumed anyone would loan us money, because we have minimal physical assets," said Marsha Armstrong of RSA Engineering. "What we have is experience and knowledge and the ability to design facilities." That's when First National stepped in to help solve the problem. "We offered them a flexible, creative way to finance the purchase," said First National loan officer David Byrne. "A commercial loan based on their solid reputation for quality work that in the end allowed the employees to grasp ownership of RSA Engineering," Byrne said.
Today, Armstrong says RSA "turns out projects of all types, from large to small." RSA is currently collaborating with a design team to engineer the mechanical and electrical design for the expansion project at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. Plans for this glass-enveloped building call for hydronic snow melting for frost-free glass, protecting displays from sunlight with motorized blinds linked to light sensors for automated shading, installing high-end sound and recording audio/visual systems, providing wireless telecommunication systems, and installing a sophisticated air-sampling smoke detection and fire alarm system. With RSA's help Anchorage's museum of history and art will provide residents and visitors alike a state-of-the-art cultural learning experience.
RSA is also currently working on Anchorage's new Glenn Square Mall and just completed the Nicholas J. Begich Muldoon Middle School, as well as the St. Andrews Parish Church in Eagle River. Perhaps RSA's most exciting cold climate work is done not in the north but in the south. For the last eight years RSA has been providing construction surveillance and on-going miscellaneous project designs in Antarctica for the National Science Foundation's South Pole Scott-Amundsen Station, where on a warm day it can reach 20 below zero. Additionally, RSAs founder and past president, Dick Armstrong, is the mechanical/electrical consultant to the NSF for their facilities projects across the Antarctica continent. RSA Engineering is an Alaska leader in cold climate design. Whether it is designing a mall, a museum or a South Pole fuel facility, RSA has the expertise and advanced capabilities to provide Alaska builders with today's cutting-edge technologies.
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