New Indian Research Station 'Bharati' in Antarctica

Customer Project

Structural Engineering Structural Analysis (Design Phase)
IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Hamburg, Germany
Final Structural Analysis
KSF GmbH & Co. KG, Bremerhaven, Germany
Architecture bof architekten
bücking, ostrop & flemming partnerschaft mbb, Hamburg, Germany
Construction Management
KAEFER Construction GmbH, Bremen, Germany
Investor NCAOR - National Centre for Antarctic & Ocean Research
Goa, India

During the Antarctic summer months of the years 2010/2011 and 2011/12, a new research station was built in East Antarctica for the Indian Ministry for Earth Sciences. Design and planning came from the German offices of bof architekten and IMS Ingenieurgesellschaft in Hamburg, Germany.

The complex structural system consists of an enveloping steel structure and a total of 134 special containers integrated to transfer vertical and horizontal loads. The final structural analysis was carried out by the German engineering office KSF in Bremerhaven.


The ‘Bharati‘ research station, which is for the most part a two‑story building, has a floor plan with the dimensions of about 98 ft x 164 ft and is more than 40 ft high. The station was designed for a minimum operation time of 25 years.

The structure is mostly elevated and built on steel columns to minimize the impact of snow drifts. The foundation consists of altogether 83 GEWI piles (injection piles) that were inserted into the rocky underground.

The research station is exposed to extreme wind loading. The dynamic pressure of gust given in the wind report was 2.6 kN/m².

The building is stiffened at the station's front end by diagonal columns arranged in Y‑shape and by a solid reinforced concrete core at the back end.

Calculation in RSTAB

As high demands were made on the serviceability of the building (deflections, natural frequency, etc.), it was necessary to analyze the deformation behavior as realistically as possible.

Therefore, the entire spatial model was entered and designed in RSTAB. All load-bearing cross‑sections of the integrated container modules as well as the enclosing steel girder construction could be represented in the program.

The shear stiffness of the container walls was taken into account by substitute diagonals. In the same way, it was possible to represent in detail the connections between the containers and the steel construction as well as of containers among each other in the analytical model.

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