Prefabricated engineering services are defined as engineering items such as pipework, valve assemblies and power distribution which are mostly fabricated in the manufacturing phase and thus require minimum effort and time for construction in harsh environments. This concept is discussed along with the alternative design configuration considered during the design development stages, through initial manufacture, field trials, practical application and modification.
This paper deals with piped utility services in detail. Future papers will examine other items developed during the Australian Antarctic Rebuilding Program. Australia's Antarctic Stations" at Casey, Davis and Mawson were built in the 1950's and 1960's using numerous load bearing panel buildings that by the early 1980's were showing increasing signs of deterioration and requiring ever increasing amounts of maintenance. The engineering services that served the building were often unplanned and installed in an adhoc manner. Heating hot water pipe work was sometimes barely serviceable and required constant repair and cleaning. In 1981 the Australian Government, at the request of the Australian Antarctic Division, approved a $70M Rebuilding Program to replace all the buildings and services at Casey, Davis and Mawson. Australian Construction Services was engaged to carry out the design, manufacture and on site construction over a ten year period.
A Master Plan for the rebuilding program had been developed over the preceding years as a growing awareness developed of the need for a new approach. By the end of 1979 a completely new building system had been developed using the experience from the early stations and some applications that had theoretical characteristics studied in wind tunnel tests. Incorporated into the master plan was a requirement to minimise environmental impact both in construction and operation. Hence incineration and waste treatment were included, when these features were unusual in Antarctica.