British Antarctic Survey

M&E installation for Halley VI research station.


How do you keep scientists alive in the most extreme environment on earth?

By using cutting edge offsite fabrication techniques to create a robust heating and water system that stands up to anything the Antarctic weather throws at it.

  • Three year build programme.
  • 95% pre-fabrication in Merit’s North East offsite manufacturing facility; on site assembly in Cape Town and Antarctica.
  • First new UK Antarctic research station in 20 years.
  • Unique requirements for CHP and Melt tank design.

Merit was contracted to supply, fabricate and install the mechanical and electrical services for the new Halley VI research station in Antarctica for British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Merit delivered the following elements of the project:

BAS is an institute of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), who delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions.

5 no. Module Plantrooms including:

  • Complete structure
  • Installation and fit-out
  • Heat recovery AHU and ductwork
  • LTHW pipework and pumping systems
  • Hydraulic plant and equipment
  • Controls panel and interconnecting wiring
  • Full electrical fit-out and wiring

The plantrooms were fully tested as far as possible before shipping, including MCC controls.

Module Service Cassettes

Each module (8no.) of the new station required the provision of service cassettes providing service distribution from/to 2no. energy modules throughout the facility. The service cassettes were designed to be slid into the module steelwork on site, and comprised the following services:

  • Heating F&R
  • Domestic hot water F&R
  • Cold water
  • Vacuum drainage
  • High pressure mist sprinkler system
  • Electrical busbar distribution

Energy Modules

Within the energy modules, Merit prefabricated the entire LTHW pipework distribution system from a fully 3D modelled environment and erected in the UK, before breaking down into spool sections for erection on site. This facilitated the entire pipework distribution system being erected within 4 weeks in the energy modules, saving significant time on site.

Melt Tanks

Merit was appointed for the design and build of 2no. water melt tanks for the production of water for the facility. The melt tanks were constructed from 20 ISO containers and included an integral plantroom housing pumping/monitoring systems and hydraulic equipment.