Arctic Design


Cold Climate Projects

Cold Climate Design

Our firm literally wrote the book on cold climate design and construction, starting with the design of the BIA Barrow Hospital in 1962 to our work on the Atlantic Richfield Complex (now called the Prudhoe Bay Operations Center) and continuing with projects such as the recently completed ASRC Vehicle Maintenance Shop in Deadhorse. We helped define the basic principles for design in arctic climates and have decades of experience in the industry.

Prudhoe Bay Operations Center

Architects Alaska’s seminal Arctic endeavor was the Prudhoe Bay Operations Center (PBOC) for ARCO, designed in the 1970s. The team adopted a large sea-lift module approach to minimize both budget and disruption to ongoing site operations. These modules, set on simple field connections called “sponsons,” elevated the structure, reducing the impacts on sensitive permafrost and mitigating snowdrift accumulation.

The PBOC is a collection of four two-story residential modules branching out from a central unit. This core serves as an interactive hub, connecting the other modules. Unlike traditional designs, which were built on trestles or skids and needed removal, the PBOC modules were constructed in elevated positions for easy transport and installation. This resulted in swift turnaround times for the equipment and vessels involved, enhancing project efficiency.

Our deep industry experience combined with continuous innovation offers you unparalleled expertise in arctic environments. Leverage our decades of experience and groundbreaking methods.
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