Antarctica New Zealand is developing a fully self-sufficient off-the-grid building in the coldest, harshest place on Earth.
The existing base, made up of 12 separate buildings, will be replaced by three large interconnected buildings.
Since its establishment in 1957, the existing base has had numerous upgrades and additions, ensuring its ability to support New Zealand’s key Antarctic objectives.
The last major infrastructure investment occurred in the 1980s. The base has served New Zealand well – and far longer than ever expected – but the buildings, facilities and systems are deteriorating and need to be replaced.
Designing, building and transporting a new base to Antarctica is an exciting yet challenging task that will take approximately 10 years to deliver. For a new base is to be up and running by 2030, the building process needs to start now.
Antarctica is the coldest and driest place on Earth. Operating safely and effectively in an environment this extreme is challenging. Due to the remote location and short summer period, the window to build in Antarctica is small.
The proposed plan is to pre-construct all buildings in a New Zealand port and ship them to Antarctica on a large heavy transport vessel in large modular sections. Specialised trailers will be used to transport the building sections on and off the vessel and into final position on the site.
The logistics are complex and costly as all materials, labour, plant, food, accommodation, fuel and more will be transported to Antarctica, with all waste brought back.
The existing base will be demolished and returned to New Zealand.
Science and operations will continue out of a temporary base throughout the construction period.