Sustainability award for Antarctic research station

By Andy Brown18 May 2021

The new wharf was completed by a industry partnership comprising BAS, Ramboll, BAM and Sweco

The new wharf at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station has been given a rating of ‘excellent’ for its sustainability.

The new 74m wharf is the first project in Antarctica to be given such a high award by CEEQUAL – the international evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, infrastructure and works in public spaces.

The wharf was completed in April 2020 to berth the new polar vessel, the RRS Sir David Attenborough. It was completed by an industry partnership comprising BAS, Ramboll, BAM and Sweco.

CEEQUAL aims to influence the design, build and sustainability process of infrastructure projects to maximise their sustainability outcomes. The new wharf project is the first time CEEQUAL has been achieved in Antarctica, receiving a score of 81.3%.

The measures that enabled the project to score highly included a change in the wharf design to reduce the need for milling of the seabed to protect benthic habitats, as well as the project’s strict biosecurity practices to prevent the introduction and spread of non-native species in Antarctica.

The assessment rewards projects where there is clear collaboration between the client, designer, and contractor to ensure that the team has effectively considered sustainable design from the start, going above and beyond the minimum environmental and social requirements.

David Seaton, head of construction at BAS said, “We’re delighted to achieve an Excellent CEEQUAL rating for our new wharf at Rothera Research Station. By working in such a remote location, we’re aware of Antarctica’s uniqueness and this CEEQUAL award demonstrates our commitment to minimise our impact on the environment.”

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