Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

Building Size:
70,000 SQ. FT.
Eathan Dicks, Peter Rejcek, Martin Lewis, Dwight Bohnet, Brien Barnett, Josh Landis, Jill Marie Fox, National Science Foundation
Popular Science Magazine's Best of What's New for 2007 in Engineering.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is a premier sustainable design project designed by the Ferraro Choi A/E team from 1992-99. An integrated engineering and architectural approach to programming and design over a seven-year period contributed to making this project a unique international model for environmentally respectful design. Due to the project’s unique location and its mission of providing an environmentally benign human presence on the pristine polar plateau, sustainable design was paramount in every design decision.
Sustainable Design Strategies:

  • All heating is provided by jacket cooling and exhaust gas heat exchangers at the primary diesel power plant.
  • Alternative energy systems use wind and solar power providing up to 14% of the station’s power requirements.
  • Good indoor air quality is ensured by specification of low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, adhesives, caulking compounds, and insulation.
  • All water is derived from the surrounding ice field and strictly rationed.
  • Existing buildings were dismantled and reconstructed to reduce retrograde and waste generation.
  • New buildings are sited to dramatically reduce snow plowing, which had accounted for a major portion of the station’s fuel usage.
  • All building systems were designed to reduce waste in the shipping and construction process.
  • All waste materials are processed and returned to the continental U.S for disposal.
  • To double its useful life, the building can be raised above the snow surface as required with a unique jackable column system.
  • Specifications preclude environmental destructive materials as described by the Antarctic Treaty.