McMurdo Station is the logistics hub and research center of the U.S. Antarctic Program, with a harbor, landing strips on sea ice and shelf ice and a helicopter pad. Its approximately 85 buildings range in size from a small radio shack to large, three-story structures. Research is performed at and near McMurdo in aeronomy and astrophysics, biology and medicine, geology and geophysics, glaciology and ocean and climate systems.
In support of the redevelopment of McMurdo Station, the National Science Foundation (NSF) requested charrettes to solicit input and ultimately, consensus, from end users of the station, including grantees and other key stakeholders. The month-long series of charrettes was critical to ensuring that stakeholders’ requirements were incorporated into the design of the $600 million redevelopment of the station’s facilities and infrastructure to a more compact, sustainable and energy efficient footprint.
The primary mission of the U.S. Antarctic Program is to support science, so understanding the needs of the scientific and other customers’ needs was paramount. Our team followed a structured agenda to collect the type of information needed in an orderly manner.
The information gathered by our team was incorporated into the McMurdo Master Plan and site layout, which was used to generate a road map for the long-range development of the campus. Further, we integrated the findings to refine schematic facility plans and designs to improve site-related operational efficiencies and proximities; marine and aviation access; vehicular movement; accounting for wind patterns, topography, site drainage, solar exposures and views.
Upon conclusion of the charrette sessions, we provided feedback that was incorporated into the final charrette report, which was sent to the NSF and all stakeholders for review and comment and ultimately became a key part of the Basis of Design for the new facilities.
“By diligently collecting and reporting stakeholders’ unique requirements for the new facilities, we ensure that the new designs effectively upgrade the infrastructure of this groundbreaking research community.”
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