The British Antarctic Survey’s (BAS) new 74m wharf at the Rothera Research Station has achieved the first CEEQUAL award in Antarctica for sustainable infrastructure.
The Rothera Wharf, which opened in April 2020 and berths the new polar vessel for Great Britain, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, gained the ‘Excellent’ rating – the highest CEEQUAL rating available.
The 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. The new wharf project is the first time CEEQUAL has been achieved in Antarctica, receiving an impressive score of 81.3%.
CEEQUAL is the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme for civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects. CEEQUAL Awards are gained by projects and contracts that have been assessed against specific environmental and social criteria by a CEEQUAL-trained assessor and verified by a CEEQUAL-appointed verifier.
According to BAS, 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.
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 minimize our impact on the environment.”
The Rothera Wharf project is part of the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme commissioned by UKRI-NERC, helping to 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.