09/10/2018

LTS collaborates on a Belgian first in Antarctica

To mark the 2007-2008 International Polar Year, the International Polar Foundation (a Belgian initiative) set up the Princess Elisabeth Research Centre. This futuristic building is supported by steel pillars which are firmly embedded in the rocky substrate. Because of the extreme climatic conditions at the South Pole, which can reach as low as -90° Celsius, extremely high standards were imposed on the building materials and techniques used.

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Entirely C02 neutral

The polar station can accommodate around twenty scientists who carry out relevant and valuable research there during the summer, examining climate change on our planet. The station is entirely C02 neutral and only uses renewable energy, a unique feature. The body heat of the occupants is recuperated for the heating, for example. Moreover, 100% of the waste is recycled.

CLT to the rescue

An extension to the base recently became inevitable. A hangar was required to accommodate and protect materials and vehicles. Our CLT elements were used for the construction of the new hangar. The building measures approximately 30 m x 15 m.

 

According to Philippe Courtoy, director of the LTS branch in Marche-en-Famenne, the decision to use CLT was swiftly made because of its intrinsic product characteristics: “The materials used had to be sustainable, light and easy to assemble, as well as providing optimal insulation. Cross-laminated timber is also insensitive to major temperature fluctuations, and partly as a result of their construction and production process, our CLT elements are dimensionally stable under all conditions.”

 

The CLT elements were first assembled in Belgium in a trial installation, after which they were shipped in containers and towed across the ice to the site.