British Antarctic Survey’s New Wharf achieves first CEEQUAL Award in Antarctica

13 May 2021
A new 74 metre wharf at British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) Rothera Research Station has achieved the first CEEQUAL award in Antarctica, gaining the highest rating available of ‘Excellent’. 
BAS RRS James Clark Ross arrives at the new Rothera Wharf

BAS RRS James Clark Ross arrives at the new Rothera Wharf

Emma Jones

Managing Consultant
T: +44 7921 058390
Dave Grove. Ramboll

Dave Grove

Director, and government lead
T: +44 7841 498 236

As a world leader in climate, biodiversity and ocean research in the Polar regions, BAS is keenly aware of its role in protecting our natural world. The new wharf for BAS was completed by a unique industry partnership comprising BAS, Ramboll, BAM and Sweco. The team undertook a sustainability assessment using CEEQUAL Version 5, an international sustainability rating system operated by BRE.

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 an impressive 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 project teams 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.”

Emma Jones, Ramboll Environment & Health, Senior Managing Consultant said: “The team is incredibly proud of this achievement. To be awarded an Excellent rating in such a challenging environment is a great feat and is testament to the hard work of all those involved.” 

Phil Edwards from BRE who administers the CEEQUAL scheme said: “CEEQUAL is part of the BREEAM family of schemes within BRE Global. CEEQUAL has over 800 projects registered globally with a combined £57 billion construction value. We are delighted to celebrate the Rothera Wharf project team’s collaboration and hard work to deliver, and score so highly, on the wide range of CEEQUAL sustainability criteria in such a sensitive environment. Congratulations to you all.”

The Rothera Wharf project, which was completed in April 2020 to berth the new polar vessel for Great Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough is part of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme commissioned by UKRI-NERC, to help ensure that Britain remains at the forefront of polar science. The new wharf will be used by the RRS Sir David Attenborough later this year when she arrives in Antarctica for the first time as part of her maiden voyage.

Ramboll. Rothera Research Station Wharf. British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey - Rothera Research Station

The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation programme (AIMP) to support world-class science through an upgrade of British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research stations and infrastructure includes preparations for one of the world’s most advanced Polar research ships - the RRS Sir David Attenborough. 

Ramboll. RRS Sir David Attenborough. Image courtesy of British Antarctic Survey

British Antarctic Survey

Appointed by NERC as Technical Advisors to BAS (British Antarctic Survey), Ramboll is providing specialist engineering and consultancy services for seven years. Delivering a host of projects within the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), BAS and its Technical Advisors (including NORR Architects and Turner & Townsend) are preparing for one of the world’s most advanced Polar research ships - the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

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