Location: Recorded on site in Collins Bay, King George's Island, Antarctica
Date: February 28th 2019
Director & Camera: Professor Emeritus Sue Roaf
Because the world’s weather is becoming more extreme and we aim to help inform and provide temporary, and emergency shelters in areas of extreme cold and winds that are easily transportable and that leave no pollution behind them. How well will PL2 work? We don’t know but what is sure is that the knowledge gained from it will change the way we look at final structure design not only in tents but in the buildings around the world that will have to become stronger and safer to survive in the increasingly extreme climate and weather events that are growing commonplace everywhere.
The team first reviewed the different construction types used in the various research bases in Antarctica. Then, in search for a valid tent type for temporary use there, a traditional Mongolian yurt was taken to Collins Bay for testing in 2016. That tent, Polar Lodge 1, failed in 200mph winds and proved to have some drawbacks such being very heavy to transport and not being adequately waterproof in that climate. Polar Lodge 2 (PL2) has taken the yurt design to a whole new level. The traditional timber rib structure of the yurt has been optimised to reduce wind resistance and rebuilt, and the felt, canvas and timber floors have been replaced with ultra-materials that have never been used to date in this context. With space-blanket type materials in a double envelope, one inside the structure, and one outside, and an external weatherproof skin of reused Dyneema racing yacht sails and an added porch and better guy anchorage we believe PL2 will be able to survive the extreme winds and cold. The solid timber floor has been replaced with twin ground sheets separated by natural cork and covered with a triple floor of Weaver Green rugs and underlay made from recycled plastic bottles. Will this new assemblage of materials keep occupants thermally safe? We will find out during the initial PL2 tests in February 2019 and then over the year, as the data recording continues on the site.
Each of our lodges need to meet the following criteria:
Apart from the obvious goals of developing:
In the process of using and testing new materials and assemblages, the team will develop knowledge that can be used:
We don’t know - but what is sure is that the knowledge gained from it will change the way we look at final structure design not only in tents but in the buildings around the world that will have to become stronger and safer to survive in the increasingly extreme climate and weather events that are growing commonplace everywhere.
University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico
Manuel Correia Guedes Architect, M.Phil., Ph.D. (Univ. Cambridge) is an Associated Professor (with Habilitation) at the Higher Technical Institute (IST) of the University of Lisbon. Former Director of the Architectural Research Centre of the IST, and of the Course of Architecture. He is responsible for several Disciplines of the M.Sc. and Ph.D courses of Architecture and Civil Engineering, including Environmental Design, Sustainable Design, Building Services and Infrastructures. He is a doctoral tutor and responsible for International Exchange Programs. He has worked extensively on international research programmes and Coordinates two E.U. projects (SURE- AFRICA and Polar Lodge). He is also National Coordinator of several E.C. funded Projects on Sustainable/ Energy Efficient design. He has authored and co-authored 12 books and published numerous research papers on a wide range of issues around sustainability and passive design for many countries and climates. He is also a seasoned sailor and farmer.
Heriot Watt University
Susan is an Emeritus Professor of Architectural Engineering, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, is an award winning author, teacher, architect and energy pioneer. Her research has covered windcatchers and nomadic architecture in the Near East, Mesopotamian archaeology, solar, low carbon, resilient and sustainable design, thermal comfort. She was an Oxford City Councillor for seven years and an elected member of the UK Architects Registration Board. Her internationally best-selling books include: Ecohouse: A Design Guide; Adapting Buildings and Cites for Climate Change; Benchmarks for Sustainable Buildings and Adaptive Thermal Comfort. She Chaired PLEA 2017 (www.plea2017.net), Co-Chaired the 2018 Windsor Conference on Adaptive Comfort (www.windsorconference.com) and is Co-Chair of CATE 2019 in April 2019 on Comfort at the Extremes (www.comfortattheextremes.com ). She is currently on third of the Portuguese Pro-Polar expeditionary team designing and testing an extreme tent in Antarctica as a prototype for high performance shelters in extremely cold environments.
University of Bahrain
Joao is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Bahrain. His research focuses on spatial cognition, urban planning, sustainable buildings. And sustainability strategies for hot climates (https://doi.org/10.1080/23311886.2018.1502907). He is the founder and leader of Bahrain Parks (www.bahrainparks.org), which supports the local and central governments while involving public participation in the development of the national infrastructure of urban parks and gardens in Bahrain. He also performed the first preliminary study on the passive shading effect of roof photovoltaic panels in the Arabian Gulf. Joao is interested in gaining a better understanding of the implications of design on the use of buildings, institutions, and cities. His research on spatial cognition involves the study of the spatial behaviour of people in the built environment, and he is a co-author of the original research published by Nature which revealed essential aspects of the way the human brain reacts to the topology of the network in the urban context (https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14652). Joao follows an evidence-based approach. His research has led him to develop software tools to assist with collecting, collating and analysing data within spatial frameworks to facilitate and standardise the gathering of data in a way that increases the base of evidence and make designing more efficient and effective.
University Centre of Brasília
Gustavo Alexandre Cardoso Cantuaria Gustavo is the founding partner of Arquitetura Estudio Mosaico and is an Architecture Professor at the University Centre of Brasilia (Uni CEUB) for the course of Architecture. He lectures on the topic of culture, climate, and architecture; sustainable architecture; bioclimatic design; heat islands and urban vegetation, His principal discipline for the graduate school is 'Urban Transformation and Architectural Renewal'. He has authored and co-authored papers, chapters, and books on these themes. He has collaborated in many international research projects with focus on sustainability and passive cooling in diverse contexts like South America, Africa, and Antarctica. He is a graduate tutor and doctoral external examiner. He is also an examiner of architecture courses in Brazil and collaborating South American countries, representing the Ministry of Education. He also designs and produces artistic tiles.
University of Lisbon, Instituto Superior Técnico
Bruno is an Architect with a PhD in architecture and civil engineering. He is a post-doc Researcher at LESE - Construct - FEUP - Faculty of Engineering in Porto, and Associated Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Arts at the Universidade Lusíada of Porto. Develops research in Bioclimatic and Sustainable Architecture since 2004 in addition to University teaching activity since 1998 in construction and architecture. Has Coordinated the "ECO-SUSTAINED DEVELOPMENT IN AFRICA" group between 2011 and 2014 at the Center for African Studies of the University of Porto. From 2013 to 2019 he has been supported by a fellowship of FCT for post-doctoral research under the thematic area of Sustainable Architecture, in developing countries. Integrates several editorial committees of scientific journals and international congresses.
Martin is a high performance carbon fibre composite design and engineering specialist, director of MODE (www.mode-ltd.com) which was formed in 2012. Applying his extensive expertise and experience of the elite F1 and Grand Prix yacht industries to the aerospace, automotive and marine sectors in his rapidly expanding spin-out company www.mouldbox.com. Martin has over 10 years’ experience in high performance carbon fibre composite R&D – from designing carbon pull rods for F1 teams to creating world-first high performance composite structures for yachts for the likes of Team Invictus and Future Fibres Rigging Systems (FFRS). For the Polar Lodge project he simulated and optimised the yurt form, structure, central crown supports and their base. The latter, formed of bio-composites is being tested in Antarctica in 2019.
Motaz works as a research assistant at Bahrain Parks, graduated from University of Bahrain in 2017, he has worked on numerous projects concerned with Bahrain's public parks, building efficiency and renewable energy. He has co-authored papers on Public parks and Building efficiency in Bahrain, he has presented two papers at 3ICT'18 and SRC18 conferences in Bahrain in 2018. His skills include 3D modelling and analysis, Digital Graphic Design, 2D Technical Drawing, writing skills, team leading and conducting surveys.
The markers on the map below link you to 360 degree videos of those locations, including views of the Polar Lodge and its beautiful but inhospitable surroundings.
Timelapse video of the assembly On Febreuary 2019 in Collins Bay, King George's Island, Antarctica
The assembly of the lodge can be done by two non-experts without tools in less than 3 hours. Windproofing to 220km/h takes an extra four to eight hours.
As in all human man-built habitats, the polar lodge needs to keep their occupants safe, so a fire alarm was mandatory. Furthermore, the Antarctic atmosphere is rather dry, raising the risk of fire to above average. The instrument that we are using for this is a general high-end alarm from Honeywell, who lent us one unit (marketing image below). This is a multi-meter device which also measures levels of carbon monoxide and fumes.
The accumulation of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide can have detrimental health effects and compromise comfort. In a small volume of air as is the case of the polar lodge, toxic gases can reach high levels of concentration quickly. We are using a CO meter and alarm to keep track of such variations and to learn when the internal atmosphere needs refreshing. The instrument we are using for this is a conventional high-end meter from Honeywell, who lent us one unit (marketing image below). This is the same unit that was mentioned above as fire alarm.
The early detection of fires is crucial for their containment, and therefore a smoke detector is necessarily part of the safety paraphernalia of the polar lodge. The instrument we are using for this is a conventional high-end meter from Honeywell, who lent us one unit (marketing image below). This is the same unit that was mentioned above as fire alarm and carbon monoxide detector.