Functional glazing for the world’s safest airport
The new Terminal B at Düsseldorf Airport became operational on 1st July 2001. For this flagship project, Pilkington Deutschland provided around 16,000 m² of high-quality functional glass products including fire protection, low emissivity and solar control. The distinctive style of the building, with its clean lines and robust construction, successfully combines aesthetics with focused functionality, and establishes Düsseldorf Airport as an example of modern architecture at its best.
The first features that the passengers see as they approach Terminal B are the rows of perforated steel plate supports for the elliptically shaped roof that arches impressively across the large and open terminal. The whole, open construction of the building, with its soaring roof structure and panoramic outside views, evokes an association between the building’s design and flight. This association is enhanced by the architect’s application of an uncomplicated and pure architectural style that effectively combines basic building materials glass, aluminium, steel and granite.
The main hall is indeed imposing: 250 m long, 90 m wide and 20 m high, forming an open, welcoming area flooded with natural light. Levels for parking are situated below the hall and leading off the hall are three main operational areas: an extended shopping arcade, two enclosed atria, and the individual departure gates with their passenger transfer bridges.
Integrated Fire Protection and Safety Systems
It is perhaps the overall fire safety design concept that is the building’s most innovative feature. For the first time, the package of safety measures has been implemented within an integrated system including built-in protection, building layout, technical installations, all designed to work together as a network rather than as individual measures applied separately. All this is backed up by organisational actions which feature fire safety training and emergency procedures. Many of the measures adopted in the fire alarm, smoke evacuation, and extinguishing systems, signage and protected escape ways are ground-breaking solutions developed for this project. A total of 50 million Euros was devoted to the specialist fire protection measures alone. Wherever passive fire-resistant glass barriers were required then Pilkington Pyrostop® and Pilkington Pyrodur® were the preferred materials of first choice.
Fire-resistant glazing in the façade, doors, and partitions
More than 3,000 m² of Pilkington Pyrostop® and Pilkington Pyrodur® are installed in the internal façade of the main hall, in the shopping arcades and in the upper office levels around the atria constructions. The objective of the fire-resistant glazing is to provide protection against both horizontal and vertical spread of fire. The internal walls in the transition zone between the main hall and the departure gates also contain Pilkington Pyrostop® and Pilkington Pyrodur®, as do the twelve passenger transfer bridges at the departure gates, where the fire-resistant glazing is used in the 5 m wide connections to guard against fire spread to the main building.
Attention has also been given to fast escape, or ready access by the emergency services, through protected corridors and escape staircases. All have automatic entry doors, 300 of which are glazed with Pilkington Pyrostop®.
Low emissivity and solar control glazing
The gable wall and the large glass façade looking out on to the passenger transfer train at the front of the building are both glazed with insulating glass units containing Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33. This glass type provides colour neutrality and low reflection with a superb combination of high light transmission but low total energy transmission (selectivity 2.0).
The inclusion of 10 mm laminated glass in the insulating glass units provides containment to guard against the risk of falling through the glass wall in the event of any pressure on the glazing.
The low emissivity specification required for the glass façade looking out on to the airport apron was achieved using insulating glass units containing Pilkington Optitherm™, also combined with laminated safety glass where special protection is needed, giving a Ug value of 1,1 W/m²K and neutral optical reflection. These insulating glass units achieve special acoustic insulation performance of 47 dB due to the unit’s construction.