Rothera Research Station Modernisation

Rothera Research Station Modernisation

The UK Antarctic hub for frontier science

Over the next decade Rothera Research Station will undergo a comprehensive modernisation programme to ensure that its facilities continue to enable world-leading research.  A modernisation masterplan to programme works over a 7-10 year period is in development. All works will be carried out in accordance with the Environmental Protocol and permission granted by the FCO following submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The first phase of Rothera modernisation work commences in November 2018, with the Rothera Wharf rebuild.

Rothera Wharf

A new wharf is scheduled to be built over two Antarctic seasons, starting in November 2018, in order to improve ship and boating operations. Benefits will include:

  • rebuilding the wharf to accommodate the RRS Sir David Attenborough and reduce manual handling cargo loading/unloading time during station relief to allow the ship to spend more time on research cruises
  • improve small boating facilities for marine research, including a larger crane for launching small boats, a personnel gangway and a floating pontoon for the deployment of scientific instruments such as gliders
illustration
Artist’s impression of the new wharf at Rothera

Construction

A team of expert construction workers brought together by our construction partner BAM International will arrive in Rothera in November 2018 to begin work to remove the existing wharf. The new wharf, which will be significantly bigger than the current wharf in order to accomodate the RRS Sir David Attenborough, will be built in two stages.

During the first season, the existing wharf will be removed, and temporary cargo unloading and boat launch facilities will be operated from South Cove. The rear section of the new wharf will be constructed in the first season, then the front section attached during the second season (see diagrams below).

Graphic showing the new Rothera wharf, with the old one marked in red

Planning

Detailed advance planning is essential for any construction project taking place in Antarctica, in order to make sure that all necessary equipment is identified, purchased and shipped in advance, whilst all the skills required for delivery are in place. For the Rothera wharf project, construction partner BAM have used the latest BIM technology to create animations of the building sequence – such as the one below – to help with this planning.

This animation shows how the new wharf at Rothera will be constructed over the next two seasons.

 

Stage 1 of wharf build – rear section complete by end of first season
Stage 2 of wharf build – front section completed in second season

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernisation programme aims:

  1. Enable frontier science to satisfy the current and predictable future demand of research communities in the UK
  2. Maintain the UK Antarctic regional presence in the Southern Atlantic
  3. Invest now to constrain future running costs of Antarctic Logistics and Infrastructure
  4. Enable the new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, to operate at maximum efficiency

 

We will achieve these aims through:

Enhancing operational efficiency

  • rationalise site layout and use for optimal efficiency
  • upgrade our facilities and technologies so that the research station is energy efficient and sustainable into the future
  • enable efficient station relief and cargo operations  with faster turnaround times, to allow both the station and the ship to maximise the time spent undertaking research and supporting UK polar science and logistics as effectively and efficiently as possible

Reducing waste and enhancing biosecurity

  • improved waste management facilities to help us reduce and recycle effectively
  • enhanced management of environmental biosecurity facilities to comply with the Antarctic Treaty environmental protocols effectively

Improving ship and boating operations

  • rebuilding the wharf to accommodate the RRS Sir David Attenborough and reduce manual handling cargo loading/unloading time during station relief to allow the ship to spend more time on research cruises
  • improve small boating facilities for marine research, including a larger crane for launching small boats, a personnel gangway and a floating pontoon for the deployment of scientific instruments such as gliders
illustration
Artist’s impression of the new wharf at Rothera

Sustainability and environmental impact

  • all new infrastructure to comply with the BREEAM tailored scheme that BAS has agreed with the Building Research Establishment and is targeting an Excellent rating
  • improved energy monitoring across the whole site and strong focus on demand management to reduce energy use
  • new buildings will have the highest levels of energy efficiency and thermal performance
  • energy-efficient generators incorporating heat recovery to minimise our environmental impact and reduce fuel costs
  • appropriate use of renewable energy technologies

Industry project delivery partners

Our in-house project management, operational and logistics teams are working closely with external partners to deliver the modernisation projects at BAS’s Antarctic research stations.

BAM Nuttall

BAM Nuttall is British Antarctic Survey’s construction partner for the Rothera & Islands modernisation projects.

 

Dougie Grant, Partnership Director

Graham Hopper

Partnership Operations Director

Gerard Turk

Director of Operations – Antarctic

 

 

Martha McGowan

Project Manager – Marine works

 

David Phethean

Project Manager – Building Works

 

Stewart Craigie

Design Team Leader

Neil Goulding

Environmental Lead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramboll

Ramboll is British Antarctic Survey’s technical advisor, supporting a number of projects in the Antarctic.

Dave Grove

Contract Director

Bruce Wulff

Contract Lead

Rebecca Grady

Project Manager – Buildings Works

 

Alan Eggleton

Project Manager – Marine

Helen Baker

Marine Technical Lead

 

Matti Utriainen

Discipline Leader – Logistics

Luke Bradley

Discipline Leader – Marine

Andreas Nitschke

Discipline Leader – Antarctica

Tony McGlory

Discipline Leader – MEP

Stephen West

Discipline Leader – Geotechnics

Nigel Cossons

Discipline Leader – Environment

British Antarctic Survey seeks small passenger aircraft for Antarctica

18 December, 2018

British Antarctic Survey is seeking to purchase a small passenger aircraft to work alongside its de Havilland Canada DHC-7 Series 110 (Dash 7). The aircraft will transport science and support teams and cargo between Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula and Punta Arenas, Chile.



Practice makes perfect

26 September, 2018

The construction team responsible for building a new Antarctic wharf at Rothera Research Station  have been practicing full-scale assembly of the 30 tonne steel rigs in Southampton before deployment South. …


Construction partner announced

4 January, 2017

Construction expert BAM has been chosen to partner with British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to modernise UK Antarctic and other research facilities, enabling British scientists to continue delivering world class research …



Rothera Research Station

The largest British Antarctic facility is a centre for biological research and a hub for supporting deep-field science.