Antarctic buildings have persistently encountered serious problems stemming from the unique conditions of the harsh Antarctic environment with extreme temperatures down to -50·C and winds up to 300 km/h This leads to the on-going accumulation of snowdrifts around buildings causing problems ranging from continual snowdrift deposition at entrances to their abandonment when the buildings are rendered unusable within a year because of poor snowdrift clearance, Furthermore the short building history and rapidly intensifying occupation of Antarctica have allowed insufficient time to understand the characteristics of the environment Given this realisation, Antarctic building designers are thus confronted with minimal research data on wind loads on and snow drifting around buildings and structures. The design features affecting the performance of Antarctic buildings in terms of snowdrift clearance and design loading appear to be the building shape facing the wind and the elevation of the building from the ground, The wind induced loads on and snow drifting formation around a number of different shapes of on-ground and elevated buildings were investigated. This research provides vital information for the prediction of snow drifting around Antarctic buildings and Will play a major role in Antarctic building design in the future.


Snow drifting around Antarctic buildings causes a wide range of problems varying in danger and cost They include, covered windows and vents, blocked fire escapes, psychological effects (Holmes, 1982), high energy consumption and buildings being pushed off their footings Supply and construction costs often exceed 12 times those found in the construction of comparable temperate climate buildings (Rohde, 1990) Buildings and stations, because of poor snowdrift clearance, often become inundated, and sometimes rendered unusable Within a year of completion. Following the progressive obliteration of several stations in Antarctica, two alternative remedies were explored, viz. underground and elevated structures (Radok, 1977).

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