Exterior complete for new Antarctic science and operations facility

A new scientific and operational support facility at Rothera Research Station for British Antarctic Survey has been made weathertight, with the cladding complete and an  operations tower installed.

British Antarctic Survey’s Construction Partner, BAM, have now completed four years of challenging construction on the Discovery Building. They are supported on site by Technical Advisor, Ramboll, and Designer, Sweco.

The team of around 54 on-site construction team members have been facing harsh weather conditions to complete this season’s programme of works before their planned departure in April. When complete, the Discovery Building will replace several older buildings at Rothera Research Station and will support science in the region for at least the next 50 years.

The large (4,500m2) two-storey building enables scientific support and operations functions to work together under one roof.

The work is part of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation programme (AIMP), a long-term government investment for future polar science, commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (UKRI-NERC).

The new science and operations facility is designed to make sure the long-term impact on the environment is minimal and meets British Antarctic Survey’s net zero ambitions by 2040. The new combined heat and power plant is expected to cut carbon emissions for the entire research station at Rothera by 25%. This, along with photovoltaic solar panels, a thermally efficient building envelope and triple glazing will make the building an exemplar for energy efficiency.

Rothera Research Station is the UK’s largest Antarctic research and operations hub that supports leading researchers from the UK and abroad. The new Discovery Building will enable the UK to continue to deliver cutting-edge climate, biodiversity and ocean research and innovative science in Antarctica.(Image credit – Christopher Robert Lloyd)


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