Bam completes work on Antarctica for the year

Bam Nuttall completed his work for the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) this year.

The contractor has spent the past seven months constructing a two-story science support facility for the BAS at its Rothera Research Station, which will be known as the Discovery Building. This was Bam’s third spell on the site.

Bam has successfully completed the exterior skeleton and ground floor slab of the 4,500 square meter building, and the company hopes to complete the exterior works in 2023 before fitting out the interior.

When completed, it will provide a mix of facilities supporting the work of the station, including preparation areas for field expeditions, workshops, offices, a medical centre, recreation areas – including a hall music and a climbing wall – as well as space for factories and machinery.

The completed building will also feature a thermally efficient envelope to minimize energy consumption and it will use renewable elements such as photovoltaic solar panels.

Construction work can only be tackled during the Antarctic summer, from November to May.

In 2020, the team of around 50 workers completed work on the Rothera Wharf for the (BAS), a structure that will house a new research vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Bam’s workforce has now returned to the UK aboard the ship, named in honor of the broadcaster.

The project is being carried out by the AIM (Antarctic Infrastructure Modernization) partnership, which includes construction partner Bam Nuttall, design consultants Sweco and Hugh Broughton Architects, with Ramboll acting as technical advisor, supported by consultants Norr and Turner & Townsend .

Commissioned by the UK Natural Environment Research Council, the program is expected to last up to 10 years, with a budget of around £100 million.

David Brand, Rothera’s Senior Modernization Project Manager, said: “We have just two construction seasons left before we start the final finishes, [and] commissioning of building services, and BAS can move in.

“We have certainly turned the corner and we have a very exciting season ahead where we will see the entire exterior fabric of the building being installed and we will see, for the first time, the actual size of the building sitting amongst the legacy buildings. in Rothera,” he added.

Building News showcased Bam Nuttall’s work in Antarctica in 2019, with the team describing the impact of harsh weather, as well as mental health issues related to isolation.

The team’s work has been complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, which shortened its 2021 season by two weeks as Bam staff members self-isolated to prevent the virus from reaching the site.

Bam last year extended its relationship with BAS, securing a 10-year, £500million contract to upgrade and expand polar research stations across Antarctica.

Alice F. Ponder