CU Denver architecture students build house for Antarctic researchers

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DENVER (KDVR) – It took 22 graduate students from the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning 19 weeks to complete, and now their enduring creation will soon be on its way to its future home in one of the coldest places on the planet at almost 7,500 miles.

In an effort to improve the living conditions of eight National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Marine Fisheries Service scientists stationed at the Cape Shirreff field camp, the students have completed the first phase of their design-build program of two years.

The mission of this program is to provide a safe and sustainable home for those who study the marine ecosystem surrounding Antarctica.

“The new sustainable buildings will continue NOAA Fisheries’ long-term research that forms the basis of ecosystem-based fisheries management in the Southern Ocean. We are proud that this is deliberately designed to have minimal impact on the environment,” said George Waters, Division Director of the Antarctic Ecosystems Research Division at NOAA Fisheries.

According to NOAA officials, since it opened in 1996, dressing-type repairs have been applied to extend the life of the current shelter, located on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands off the peninsula. Antarctic. This time, however, a full replacement is required.

The students presented the completed phase to attendees of the shelter reveal on Tuesday, explaining the full scope of the design. Innovative details of the completed first phase include prefabricated flat structures, off-grid power system capability and weather resistance that it will face in Antarctica.

“My dad believed in me and said, ‘You can do it.’ At that time, I pursued my dream of becoming an architect,” said Paolo Larios, a graduate student at CU Denver Colorado’s construction studio enrolled in the program. “Today, it’s admiring to see more women in the CAP program because we work much harder to stay relevant as designers and professionals at this level.”

In addition to this program providing students with practical experience, the program also leads the way in equal opportunities as 40% of the students who participated in it were women.

“We teach students the project life cycle from start to finish, from idea and conception to project scope and implementation. It’s great to see the collaboration and mutual respect between all the students. Having spent my career in male-dominated industries, this project proves that women can hold leadership positions,” said Jaime Yelvington, Director, Bespoke Project Solutions.

The completed structure will be disassembled in late June and then shipped to its new home in Cape Shirreff, where a team from CU Denver will reassemble it.

The second phase of the project will begin in January 2024. This is when the students will begin construction of a laboratory and observation blind for the Antarctic research site.

The private partnership the school has entered into is with OZ Architecture, Bespoke Project Solutions and the NOAA Fisheries division.

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