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Jang Bogo Antarctic Research Station

Victoria Land, Antarctic

Short information

Building category
Education and Culture
Windows, Façades
AWS 90.SI+, FW 60+.SI
Victoria Land, Antarctic
Space Group: Space / DongJu / Add Design


Project details

Project description

When the Jang Bogo Antarctic Research Station was completed in February 2014, the Republic of Korea gained its second research facility on the Antarctic continent. The King Sejong Station has been on King George Island since 1988. It focuses on ocean research and the investigation of ecosystems along the coasts, whilst the latest science centre will primarily be devoted to geographical and climate research from now on. The Jang Bogo Station should also serve as a platform for experiments, where engineers and scientists will be able to test their instruments, equipment, new materials or robots under extraordinary temperature conditions. After an intensive search for a location, the selection of Terra Nova Bay in Victoria Land, a region in the east of Antarctica situated south of New Zealand on the Ross Sea, means that an area has been chosen which is relatively free of ice, but which is still exposed to extreme climate conditions. In addition to temperatures of down to -40 degrees Celsius, strong wind conditions prevail here all year round with peak speeds of up to 65 metres per second. Withstanding these conditions placed high demands on the construction, coupled with the condition of being energy efficient to a high degree. One of the most important requirements, both during the construction period and in its subsequent operation, was to keep the impact on the environment as low and short term as possible. To guarantee a minimal impact on nature and to make the construction period as short and efficient as possible, the decision was made in favour of a modular system, whereby the prefabricated building components and other equipment were shipped from Busan in South Korea via New Zealand, finally reaching their destination with the help of ice breakers. On location, they were assembled by a team of 200 people in a race against time, as every day counted in the short Antarctic summer. The construction stage consisted of two successive summer periods, each lasting just 65 days. The research station has 16 buildings and ancillary facilities devoted to research. These include a power plant, a maintenance building, emergency accommodation, observatories and laboratories, which radiate out from the striking central building structure by approx. 100 metres in clusters. The characteristic aerodynamic structure of the multi-storey main building has three arms so that it provides the wind with only a minimal contact surface. A raised position with only a few points of contact with the floor area, as well as sloping wall and roof shapes, minimise contact with the ever-present ice and snow. The foundations and building sections close to the ground have also been clad in stainless steel so that they are able to with stand the thawing ice. Two of the three wings of the building house sleeping quarters, whilst the third is home to some of the laboratories. In the main part of the building, offices are accommodated on a second floor, whilst an observatory and communication room form the top section. The plan is to have 15 people for operation all year round; something which only around half of all Antarctic research facilities pursue. At the peak of the summer, the plan is for up to 60 scientists, employees and visitors to be able to use the Korean station. Numerous features create pleasant working and living conditions inside, including “light shelves”, which ensure that sufficient daylight reaches thework spaces. The energy concept is also a key component of the architecture. Solar panels mounted on the exterior wall, which take into account the angle of radiation of the sun at these latitudes, contribute towards alternative energy generation with 38 kW, and wind energy generates an average of 60 kW on top of this. The contribution from waste heat and diesel-powered combined heat and power generation amounts to 270 kW. Ultimately, it is the outstanding insulation that guarantees this artificially created human living environment, with a constant inside temperature of around 20°C and relative humidity of 40%. The double-skin exterior walls are filled with highly efficient insulating material made from rigid polyisocyanurate foam. These are clad in a 225 mm deep curtain wall which, thanks to the installation of steel units, contributes to the wind resistance and overall stability of the building. Together with triple-glazed windows, a total depth of 309 mm is not exceeded. In the inhabited sections of the building, two rows of windows were installed in the end: fixed triple-glazed windows on the outside and double-glazed windows which can be swivelled on the inside, collectively creating five layers of glazing here. For these building units, the commissioned company Eagon Windows & Doors Co. Ltd. from South Korea opted for the Schüco AWS 90 SI+ and FW 60+ SI systems; the innovative aluminium windows featuring super insulation technology offer the highest thermal insulation properties to passive house standard, as well as numerous design possibilities due to their minimal basic depths. Ultimately, the fact that the building can be fully dismantled and transported away after its use, which is scheduled to be at least 25 years, is intrinsic to the sustainability concept.


Jang Bogo Antarctic Research Station
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