Hillary Field Centre
Stage 1 Summer 2014/15 & Winter 2015
The main component of Stage 1 of the HFC refurbishment project was the internal refurbishment of the HFC to provide purpose built laboratory space and an improved event preparation area on the ground floor level and office space for scientists and technicians on the first floor level. In addition to the internal refurbishment of the HFC, there were two interdependent projects to complete including, the refurbishment of the Hangar, and the provision of temporary storage for food and Armed Forces Canteen Council (AFCC) stock in the form of five insulated and refrigerated containers on a steel frames.
Procurement was carried out over the months of August – December 2014 and a total of twenty two 20’ shipping containers were sent to Scott Base for the project. The team of tradesmen deployed and arrived January 16, 2015 and the project was completed six weeks ahead of schedule with all staff returning to Christchurch on 13 October, 2015.
The HFC construction team of eight returned to New Zealand on April 8, 2016 after a successful construction period where they managed to complete all programmed work and approximately two weeks of the work scheduled for winfly (August winter flight). Both the North porch and Container Docking bay are now enclosed with no services installed. The team will head back down at winfly (2016) and target the completion of the Northern warm porch with the intention of opening this back up for normal operations at the start of main body. The focus will then be on the container dock with an estimated completion date of mid-November. The Northern warm porch will function similar to the vehicle workshop cold porches and provide: more floor area for field deployment preparations, vehicle loading, short term cargo storage and more sustainable heat control when entering and exiting the buildings. The container dock is specifically for mobile customised 20ft shipping container labs of any nature, fitted out to support event requirements. It's a plug and play concept where a specialist lab can be constructed in New Zealand, sent down on the ship and used both in the field and at Scott base, with services connected at Scott base via a services panel. The philosophy has been to keep the container dock functionality as broad as possible to allow for all types of science demands now and in the future. Antarctica NZ are currently working on a mobile containerised wet lab for marine science to be housed in the container dock when required. This is due to head down on the ship in January 2017.
Stage 2 Summer 2015/16 & Winter 2016
Geotechnical investigations and anchor testing (October 2015)
Engineering geological and geotechnical evaluations were undertaken by Golder Associates. The scope of work covered:
- Reviewing existing geotechnical, geological and topographical data in the vicinity of the site
- Conducting a geotechnical exploration programme comprising nine boreholes and four pull out tests
- Installation of three thermistor arrays
Nine drill holes were undertaken at Scott Base using a compressed air flushed cored drilling technique (i.e. no drilling fluid introduced) which recovered rock core samples 55mm in diameter. Three boreholes were 10m in depth and a further six were approximately 3m in depth. The cores were logged and the geology described.
Four of the boreholes were used to test different anchor materials to determine foundation resistance to wind uplift at Scott Base for any future building at this site. A 20mm diameter steel bar was installed to a depth of 2m within the borehole. Each hole was backfilled with sand and two different anchor materials were tested including sand and water, and a bentonite slurry.
In three of the boreholes, thermistors (temperature probes) were installed to measure variability of temperature within the ground through the year to assist in determine which layer of the ground may be affected by freeze thaw changes. The boreholes were backfilled using graded sand, with the top capped with bentonite powder.
The results were used to inform the installation of the foundations for the warm porch and will be used to inform any future building works to Scott Base.
Drill, blasting, cut and fill earthworks (December 2015 – January 2016)
Aerial view of earthworks within the Scott Base operational area - a total of 1,250 cubic metres.
Foundations (January – April 2016)
Foundation activities during this stage of the project were completed using heavy plant to drill and embed the foundations anchors and to place the concrete blocks for the warm porches. All foundations were pre-cast in New Zealand and sent to Scott Base for installation.
Stage Two - Final piece of work
This will be the internal fit out of the warm porches (e.g. electrical wiring, walls, etc.) and the introduction of the new container labs once they are assembled and transported to Scott Base.
This work is currently underway and due for completion by April 2017.