London Heathrow Terminal 5

London Heathrow Terminal 5

The new terminal building, Terminal 5 (T5), at Heathrow Airport, London was Europe’s largest construction project and when opened, on the 30 March 2008, is capable of handling 36m passengers a year.

We were employed through Bryden Wood & Associates (BWA) to work on the secondary fit-out package for Heathrow T5. We were tasked with designing the ‘Below Apron’ blockwork walls, all stairs including the feature stairs to the front of house, all way finding and also fit-out of retail outlets.

Our first challenge was to design all 2000m of the Below Apron blockwork walls which were over 7.0m high. In order to value engineer the design we went away from the design codes and utilised Finite Element (FE) analysis to verify the design moments. This helped to keep windpost to the maximum centres and keep costs and construction time to a minimum. It was difficult to quantify what we had achieved with the Blockwork walls until we were asked to review the blockwork on T5B. The Lead Engineers on T5B had designed their blockwork walls to British Standards which are conservative. We reviewed their calculations and they eventually adopted our designs, saving T5B time and money. The cost saving for T5B alone was over £100,000.

We worked very closely with Pascall Watson and Bryden Wood in designing all the stairs within the T5 building: main terminal feature stair cases and the back of house stairs. This included the design of the clear glazed cantilever balustrades. Another element to the project involved all the way-finding and signage which is obviously critical for a Terminal Airport such as the scale of T5.