The previous post looked at possible methods of building and providing housing for an Antarctic colony. This post will go into slightly more depth about materials that could be used.
Using a custom designed mix of fibrous cement with a high insulation value may be a viable option for Antarctic construction. Some of the most well known mixes such as the ill fated Asbestos filled Fibro and the lesser known Papercrete likely wouldn't preform well in Antarctica. However, using a different fibrous material, such as hemp fibers combined with other insulating material may yield stronger and more well insulated structures. Standard rebar reinforced concrete could be used for load bearing walls and support columns.
Hemp fibers could be initially imported and later grown locally in large underground hydroponics bays. If a small cement factory could also be established, that would reduce the reliance on imports and make a partially self-sufficient Antarctic construction industry.
Fibrous cement is an amazingly versatile material and can be used for building everything from insulating shells for underground tunnels, interior walls, water pipes, to furniture and even novelty items. Certain mixes of fibrous cement can even be worked and sculpted like clay. Blocks or bricks can be poured in standardized sizes. Custom sized blocked can also be produced fairly easily. Entire walls can be poured into place if need be.
There are many possibilities with various mixes of fibrous cement. The ability to produce it locally on site and customize it would seem to fit well with the needs of an Antarctic colony.
Another option, while not suitable for indoor construction, should not be overlooked for building outdoor unheated structures. A version of Pykrete could also be produced with locally grown hemp fiber pulp and used to make things like outdoor cold storage buildings. Simple things like walls and wind sheltered walk-ways may be appropriate for this material too.
As was mentioned on in the last post, radiant barrier material alternating with layers of air pockets may provide a high insulation solution for interior spaces. Fibrous cement could easily be incorporated to frame and support those layers of radiant barrier materials. This would likely be far more cost effective than other conventional materials like wood, and would also offer superior fire protection.
If anyone has any input or alternative suggestions feel free to add them in the comments here.