A team of construction specialists has commenced construction at the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station in Antarctica.
It also comprises civil and structural engineers along with mechanical and electrical specialists, who will carry out the internal fit-out of the new building.
Work is being carried out under the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), which is a key part of the UK government’s investment in the polar regions of the globe.
This is the first time a construction team along with BAS team members will be deployed to the region to work through the Austral or Antarctic winter, BAS said.
A total of eight construction team members will be stationed at the Rothera site over the next seven months during Antarctica’s winter season, which starts in May and lasts until November.
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This season, which encompasses some periods of 24-hour darkness, will further allow the team to take key steps for the completion of Rothera’s science and operations facility, referred to as the Discovery Building.
The majority of the site’s mechanical and electrical installation and internal fit-out work has already been delivered and the teams will now focus on installing windows, completing flashings, and finalising the maximum of the cross-site utility works over the next six months.
BAS AIMP director Elen Jones said: “Following last season’s success, we’re gearing up for another important construction season for BAS and the AIMP.
“We are continually upgrading and improving our infrastructure at Rothera to make sure that the valuable and vital scientific research and support in this critical region can continue for the next generation.”
The teams will also begin resurfacing Rothera’s runway in the upcoming season.
Resurfacing of the runway, which has been operational for the last three decades, will maintain safe flying activities in and out of Rothera to ensure field science operations for both UK and international scientists.
The runway is expected to be completed by early next year.