site.btaDay 62: Foundations of New Lab Unit of Bulgarian Antarctic Base Completed
The concrete foundations of a new laboratory unit of the Bulgarian Antarctic Base St. Kliment Ohridski on Livingston Island have been completed. In four days, the construction team of polar researchers and the crew of the military research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril I Metodii, which is also part of the 31st Bulgarian Antarctic expedition, managed to lay 17 foundation steps.
The future single-storey building will be erected on a total of 32 concrete foundation steps. Of these, a total of 15 were built during the 30th Antarctic campaign.
The foundation steps have the same cross-section – 1 m by 1 m, while their height varies according to the elevation of the terrain (the new unit is located on Pesyakov Hill, where the terrain is uneven). Ach foundation step has at least 75 m of reinforcing iron, which means that a total of about 2,400 m have been transported to the construction site.
The main challenges in building the foundations in the Antarctic are due to the multiple freeze-thaw cycles, a process in which water transitions from a liquid to a solid aggregate state, expanding and causing damage in the hardened concrete, the chemical aggression from proximity to the sea, and the geometry of the future building, which is designed to self-clean from accumulating snowdrifts, BTA learnt from Oleg Vassilev from the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute, a specialist on the design of concrete compositions, a physicist and a participant in the 31st Bulgarian expedition to Livingston Island.
The newly built facility will have three laboratories, a living room with a presentation area, a library, a rest area, a work area, four double bedrooms, two bathrooms, as well as storage and backrooms.
BTA's Daily News editor Konstantin Karagyozov is the only member of the media who is travelling on board the ship to Livingston Island and back, and will cover the Bulgarian expedition on site throughout the stay in Antarctica.
All media outlets can use the Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log for free.