Feeds

Antarcticans to live in blue, ski-mounted, caterpillar

British design for Halley VI

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A British consortium, comprising Engineers Faber Maunsell and Hugh Broughton Architects, has won a contract to build Halley VI, the new British Antarctic Survey base following an international competition.

The base is to be built on a constantly moving shelf of ice, and without intervention, the existing base, Halley V, will most likely end its life drifting out to sea on an iceberg. To prevent Halley VI suffering a similar fate, it will be built on skis, so it can be moved.

It will also be raised above the snow on stilts, as Halley V is, to keep it above the annual accumulation of snow - usually around five feet. Previous bases have slowly been buried and crushed under the weight of years and years of snowfall.

Relocating the base will mean the building must be lowered to ground level, so it can be shoved along with a bulldozer.

The new base design has two main platforms, each with six interconnected modules. It will generate more of its energy renewably, and should handle waste disposal better than its predecessor. It will also, according to reports, look a bit like a giant blue caterpillar.

It has been designed to be as flexible as possible, since it will the base of British scientific operation in Antarctica for 20 years after it has been built.

"One doesn't know what the scientific drivers will be in 20 years' time, what kind of science will need to be done," Hugh Broughton told the BBC. "Global warming will presumably play a huge part; but basically the building needs to be flexible. In our design, labs can be converted to bedrooms and bedrooms to labs according to the need."

Construction work on the base, which will house up to 60 people during the Antarctic summer, should begin in 18 months' time. The work is expected to be completed in December 2008. ®

Related stories

Huge iceberg menaces Antarctica
Giant iceberg slams into glacial tongue
Global warming cleared on ice shelf collapse rap

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.