Ramboll has been re-appointed as technical advisors for British Antarctic Survey (BAS), successfully winning the next phase of work in a series of projects to improve and modernise Antarctic research stations and infrastructure. The contract is valued at between £40-50m and secures their involvement for a further ten years.
As the sole supplier on the BAS framework, Ramboll will provide a vast range of services, from project management and structural, geotechnical and MEP engineering, to buildings, energy, sustainability, fire and renewables consultancy. The team will also be managing third party services, including architecture, quantity surveying, and snow and wind modelling.
As climate change poses the threat of a potential global 1.5°C temperature increase, sustainability is a key driver in the modernisation of all BAS facilities, with a target set for all buildings to be designed and operating at net-zero carbon. Given the extreme Antarctic conditions, where temperatures range from 5°C to -60°C, and the fact the continent is the coldest, driest, highest and windiest on the planet, a key challenge will be ensuring structures are both sustainable and useable in the world’s harshest climate.
The next phase of work with BAS will include the second phase of the Rothera modernisation programme, which includes a new marine facility, and accommodation block. An energy assessment will also take place, with the aim to reduce the station’s reliance on fossil fuels. Ramboll has previously been working on the BAS Rothera research station, which in December 2019 resumed construction work on the 74m long wharf in preparation to berth the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
In addition to the continued work at the Rothera research station, Ramboll will commence a masterplan for the King Edward Point research station, as well as exploring further connected projects in both Antarctica and the UK.
Commenting on the win, Dave Grove, project director at Ramboll, said “Ramboll has been working with BAS since 2016 and in that time our team has provided expert technical, design and consultancy services for projects located in the most challenging of environments, using innovative design techniques and assessment models to strike a balance between facilities that are useable in the harsh climate, whilst operating at net-zero carbon emissions. We are delighted to have been awarded the new contract on this incredibly interesting and challenging project, cementing Ramboll’s position as the leading engineering consultant in the Antarctic, and allowing us to continue our work to support BAS in delivering their ambitions.”
Professor Dame Jane Francis, director at BAS, commented: “The modernisation of BAS infrastructure forms a crucial aspect of improving the long-term sustainability of our estate. This partnership is vital to helping us deliver on our long-term environmental and sustainability targets, whilst we deliver vital frontier science research that benefits us all.”