• Projekt
    Gondwana - Antarctica

  • Architekt
    Office Steinbacher + Steinbacher, Thalgau

  • Bauherr
    BGR Hannover

  • Produkt
    70.1 m² cassettes; 64.55 m² Domitec

  • Verarbeiter
    Koll locksmith's shop, Marktschellenberg

DOMICO delivers to Antarctica – Gondwana research station

The environmental technology office, Steinbacher+ Steinbacher Ziviltechniker GmbH, located in Thalgau, has been awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the German Geo-Research Station of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources in Gondwana in the Antarctic.
The research station is operated by BGR Hannover and focuses on geological research. Koll was awarded the sub-contract for the manufacture and interim construction of the research station in Antarctica. The construction work included the extension of a research and technology building, a thermal refurbishment as well as a technical extension which is now up to date.
Koll is a locksmith’s shop with approx. 5 employees. It is active in the field of light steel construction as well as locksmith’s work up to the art locksmith’s shop.

“Only one company was considered for the roofing, with DOMICO we have found a reliable partner who is needed to successfully realize a project under extreme conditions at the South Pole”, says Managing Director Josef Koll.

Koll was responsible for the ground anchoring and foundation work, for the steel construction and partly for concrete work. DOMICO supplied the cassette support shell, the retaining profiles and a Domitec roof covering, as well as the circumferential edgings and edged end panels plus a PV system.

Not only a meticulously precise preparation but also the high prefabrication rate of the products was of utmost importance.

The delivery went to Marktschellenberg in September 2015. All components, materials and tools, some with heavy equipment, were loaded into ship containers and shipped.

“The most important part is a precise preparation and material composition, if one part is missing then everything is in place”, says Mr. Koll.

With a total of 10 containers (20 feet) and a “package” of general cargo of 8 tons each, the cargo ship left the port in Ravinia (Italy) in mid-October. The journey time for the cargo ship was 2 months!

The construction and research team started much shorter, but also with a very long 16-day journey, on 10 December 2015. The journey by plane to New Zealand was very impressive, the continuation by ship, past huge icebergs and ice floes, was very impressive.

Arriving in Antarctica, the sleeping tents were pitched in which the next 3 months were spent.

Season was spring and summer, with temperatures around approx. +5° on -10° (partly up to -17°), continuous daylight and only slight twilight in the night hours. Thus the assembly of 12 hours and more per day was possible.

Conclusion and experience:

– Accompanied by strong and fast weather changes, incl. individual snowstorms.

– Securing of the components was very important (often storm and fresh snow over night)

– Great demands on the anchoring of buildings

– All joints of the roof profile were closed due to flying snow

– Installation of the roof worked smoothly

– The roof was designed with a PV system


The DOMICO roof is exposed to extremely high wind loads. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Kuhl calculated the static requirements. The wind load corresponds to a 40 m high building in wind zone 4 on a North Sea island (1.93 kN/m²). The design load is 177% higher (3.41 kN/m²). The roof construction is thus designed for the highest wind speed ever measured (178km/h) at the south pole. Special sheet thicknesses were therefore required.