Building the Station’s Structure
By mid-January, the station's metal structure was mounted on the Utsteinen ridge, before work began on building the superstructure. Since the anchoring stage was completed, progress on the station's construction has become much more visible to the bare eye.
Alain Hubert is quite happy with the progression on site, despite the hazards and difficulties inherent to such a venture. They have been forging ahead, accomplishing an impressive amount of work in a short time. The floor and upright beams have already been added to the overall structure, the garages have been set up to store the equipment and the tower basement has now been built against the granite ridge. The first modules that make up the East façade of the station have been mounted and the time has now come to put up the last modules.
Climate change is currently a matter of great focus amongst the scientific community, and Antarctica is not an exception to its consequences. Indeed, a study lead by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California recently established that the West Antarctic ice sheet had lost ice at an accelerated rate over the past decade.
The challenge of building a first "zero emission" research station therefore serves as an example and vision as the world faces climate change issues. Princess Elisabeth not only paves the way towards new standards amongst the polar science community, it also provides a new impulse for developing climate change responses within society.
Although progression on site is on schedule, the adventure for the BELARE expedition builders is not over yet. The "Princess Elisabeth" program’s back office in Brussels still seeks the support of sponsors, donors and technical partners who are willing to contribute to a landmark in sustainable development.