Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme

ClientNatural Environment Research Council

The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) will transform how British Antarctic Survey enables and supports frontier science. Commissioned by the NERC, this long-term programme will enable a world-leading capability to ensure that Britain remains at the forefront of climate, biodiversity and ocean research in the Polar regions.

Joined by BAS technical advisors, Ramboll and our designers Sweco, BAM were chosen by UK Research Innovation (UKRI) and National Environment Research Council (NERC), to partner with British Antarctic Survey for the £300m infrastructure programme.

Together with the commissioning of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, this modernisation programme represents the largest UK Government investment in polar science infrastructure since the 1980s.

The seven year AIMP framework will see a number of projects carried out in Antarctica, to support climate change global research scientists, and the search for bio-renewable energy.

In January 2017, BAM began work with British Antarctic Survey, on the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP).

The AIMP projects include:

Bird Island Wharf – 2017-2018

Rothera Wharf, Adelaide Island – 2018-2020

Rothera – Discovery Building – 2020-2023

King Edward Point Wharf, South Georgia Islands – 2020-present

Read about the RRS Sir David Attenborough ship naming event!


Working in one of the World's Most Harsh Climates

Living and working in the Antarctic involved many environmental constraints and extreme weather and logistics, with temperature ranging from 5°C to -40°C. Working with the whole AIMP partnership, extending from client to supply chain, has been key to working in this uniquely challenging environment.

Operating safely and sustainably has been underpinned by careful planning, using digital construction, to help deliver work overcoming potential risks from adverse weather, icebergs and natural wildlife. such as whales and seals. On site team integration and suitable wellbeing support were essential ingredients for working life.

To minimise the risks, we work in partnership with interdisciplinary collaborators such as academia and the third sector, exchanging information and expertise such as:

• BAM’s Scottish and northern division, bringing experience of working in extreme weather conditions in the Highlands and the Islands of Scotland.

• BAM International, bringing expertise in global logistics and opportunities to make use of a global marketplace.

The AIMP partnership is proud of the impact our project has, supporting global endeavours to tackle climate change. The investment by NERC includes the RRS Sir David Attenborough, which was named at a ceremony in September 2019. Our partnership were proud to be involved in the event, which invited local school children, the community in Birkenhead, and the UK public to come and find out more about engineering and science.

See more details here.

COP26 - Together For Our Future

The Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP) team including, BAM Nuttall, Ramboll, Sweco and Hugh Broughton Architects attended COP 26 on Friday 5 November.

After a successful Pre COP 26 event in Greenwich in October 2021, the interactive school's session in the Green Zone, at Glasgow Science Centre, saw world-leading scientists and engineers questioned by young people about climate change and their work in Antarctica.

AIMP Poster Competition

The AIMP team are holding a poster competition for children aged 8-15.

All you have to do is draw the new British Antarctic Survey Discovery Building and be in with the chance to have it displayed at Rothera research station, Antarctica!

Download the competition information here

Other projectsRothera Wharf - Adelaide Island arrowarrow