Business as unusual – designing through COVID-19

Ground View Hagglund GREEN med
16 April 2020

Like the rest of the country, the Scott Base Redevelopment (SBR) team is taking precautions to help stop the transmission of COVID-19. Our focus is to maximise the health and wellbeing of our people and minimise disruption to the project.

2020 is a significant year for the SBR project, and our team is adjusting to the new ‘business as unusual’ and continuing to move the redevelopment project forward to meet major deadlines.

Staying Healthy

The safety of our staff and communities are at the heart of Antarctica New Zealand’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are following the guidelines set by the New Zealand Government and the Ministry of Health and will continue to operate according to their advice. All of our staff are working from home and their isolation bubbles.

Keeping Connected

While our team is physically distant, we are socially connected. Our globally dispersed project team is used to working collaboratively and digitally and now, more than ever, we are leaning on technology to share information and ideas. Although we miss seeing each other in the office, we are able to conduct all of our meetings, presentations, and workshops via phone and video conferencing from the comfort of our homes.

Designing by Distance

The SBR project has reached the Developed Design stage and is set to host a series of workshops that bring together the knowledge and experience of a wide range of people. Our upcoming user group workshops will be held via video conference and some of our staff at Scott Base will also dial-in.

Suspending Travel

All travel is suspended in New Zealand at the current time. Antarctica New Zealand’s Senior Leadership Team will review our business travel as the country, and world, comes out of lockdown. Flights to Antarctica are infrequent at this time of year and no onsite redevelopment studies or activity is scheduled until next season.

Encouraging Flexibility

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes. While our team is able to continue their work from home, we are aware that many are not as fortunate and are facing employment, financial, health, and social challenges. Flexibility has been one of our design principles from the beginning, enabling us to future proof the new base for decades to come. It is now a core principle for the team as well and we are encouraging our staff to take the time they need to support their children, families, and friends.

We thank you for your support during these unique times. If you need to contact us, please do so via email as we are all working from home.