The Energy Cost of Antarctic Construction
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
This report describes a preliminary investigation into the energy requirements for construction in the Antarctic. A case study of a current Antarctic construction project, the construction of a warm store at Scott Base, is employed in order to investigate this. The gross energy requirement (GER) for the construction of the building was found to be 43.9 GJ/m2 . This is comprised of the embodied energy of the construction materials, energy used in materials transportation, energy consumed by humans and the direct energy requirements of on-site construction. The GER for the warm store represents 114 years of operating energy at 690 GJ per annum. The energy required for the transportation of building materials made up 78.9% of the GER. This is therefore the main area of focus for the minimisation of the GER for future Antarctic construction. This can be reduced through careful attention to the specification of light weight materials. Currently the energy efficiency of buildings is thought to be increased through the minimisation of operational energy costs. The energy consumed in processing, manufacture, transport and construction is not considered in this equation. In both the Antarctic and worldwide there is a necessity for the adoption of life cycle energy in preference to operational energy as the measure of building energy efficiency.