Construction begins on new facility at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica

WCN Editorial Team 31 Jan 2020 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Consulting engineering group Ramboll has announced the start of construction on Discovery Building at the Rothera Research Station facility in Antarctica to facilitate the British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) on-going climate-related research.

The two-storey building is being developed by the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation partnership, which comprises construction firm BAM and design consultants Sweco and Hugh Broughton Architects.

Ramboll’s team comprising NORR architects and Turner & Townsend is serving as BAS’s Technical Advisers.

Hugh Broughton Architects director Hugh Broughton said: “This cutting-edge facility will support scientists who are investigating the impacts of climate change on our planet as we race to find solutions which will support our future.”

With development designs completed by Ramboll’s team, BAM, Sweco and Hugh Broughton Architects are working to finalise the detailed design and construction drawings for the project.

Planned to be under construction until 2023, the Discovery Building is being delivered as part of The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation (AIM) Programme, which aims to update and restore infrastructure at Rothera.

The 4,500m² building will be equipped to accommodate preparation areas for field expeditions and will feature a central store, medical facility, offices, recreational spaces, workshops and areas for the plant.

BAS Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme director Jon Ager said: “This is an exciting milestone in a long-term plan to modernise Rothera Research Station.

“Once built, this new facility will enhance significantly our operational support to deep-field science campaigns.”

The Rothera Research Station, located on a rocky promontory at the southern extremity of Adelaide Island, was commissioned in 1975 and operates year-round. It also serves as a major logistics centre, supporting BAS’ all operations in Antarctica.

BAM construction partnership project director Graham Hopper said: “The team takes great pride in being able to support BAS in continuing its pioneering science research so we can better understand our planet.”

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BAS Science and Operations Building at Rothera Research Station in Antarctica. (Credit: HBA)

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