BAM and Sweco to modernise British Antarctic Survey research stations

24 March 2021 (Last Updated March 24th, 2021 10:39)

Construction company BAM Nuttall and design consultant Sweco are set to modernise the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research stations.

BAM and Sweco to modernise British Antarctic Survey research stations
British Antarctic Survey office in Stanley, Falkland Islands. Credit: Liam Quinn / Flickr.

Construction company BAM Nuttall and design consultant Sweco are set to modernise the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research stations.

The companies have secured a tender for a new ten-year partnership commissioned by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to carry forward the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP).

The partnership provides the framework for delivering a range of sustainable construction projects such as new scientific support buildings, laboratories, accommodation, upgraded recycling and waste management facilities and runway enhancements.

British Antarctic Survey director professor Dame Jane Francis said: “Building on the successful delivery of new wharves to support the royal research ship (RRS) Sir David Attenborough and the existing project to deliver a new science operations facility at Rothera Research Station, our ambition is to continue to replace ageing buildings with modern, highly insulated and energy-efficient infrastructure.

“A blueprint or ‘masterplan’ to rationalise our Antarctic infrastructure and significantly reduce our carbon emissions will shortly be completed with technical advisors Ramboll.”

BAM noted that this is the second bid involving the companies for a partnership contract with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) organisations Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and BAS in Antarctica.

The AIMP, which includes construction leads BAM, Sweco and technical adviser Ramboll, started the construction of a new jetty and buildings at Bird Island in 2017.

The British Antarctic Survey will be able to meet its goal of achieving carbon neutrality (net-zero) by 2040 through the BAM and Sweco partnership, which will combine innovation, design and technical capability.

Sweco UK president Max Joy said: “The team has championed sustainable practices at every stage of the project and introduced world-class, energy efficiency solutions across the polar research facilities at Rothera.

“We will continue to push the boundaries of engineering, construction and design through the next stage, which we hope will inspire the next generation of engineers.”