Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


Videos | BAM builds £51m British Antarctic Survey wharfs

1 September 2020

The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has offered a behind-the-scenes look at the construction of two new wharfs built by main contractor BAM at two separate locations in the Antarctic.

BAM, supported by Sweco and technical advisor Ramboll, constructed a new £40m wharf at Rothera Research Station, the largest Antarctic facility for the BAS.

The 74m wharf was built to moor the new polar ship, the RSS Sir David Attenborough. It has been built over 18 months during the Antarctic summers (November to May), with a 50-strong team completing the work in the six-month construction season in 2020.

Meanwhile, the £11m wharf at King Edward Point research station on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia was built in 108 days. Every single nut and bolt for the project had to be sent in a single shipment from the UK.

BAM developed the detailed designs and constructed the new facility, while Sweco was BAM’s design lead, Ramboll was technical designer, and Turner & Townsend provided cost management.


Worst description of collaboration here … ‘them’ the contractor over there, ‘us’ the client, with the consultant helping on ‘our side’ of the contract.

Still got a way to go braking down the barriers (icebergs perhaps) than puts contracts higher up than relationships (value chains)

Great project to have been involved with by the look of things.

David Hall, 2 September 2020

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