London & South East

Transforming Terminal 2

Phase One of a £2.3 billion programme to construct a brand new Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport is underway. Once complete, the terminal will cater for up to 20 million passengers a year.

Terminal 2 will replace a former terminal and is the latest stage in a five-year programme of works to transform the airport. The construction of Terminal 2 has been funded entirely by BAA, making it the largest privately funded construction project in the UK.

Phase One of the Terminal 2 project includes the construction of a brand new main terminal building, a new satellite pier and a new energy centre. A new cooling station will also be constructed, along with new baggage and control systems. Check-in desks will be expanded in order to accommodate 3,000 passengers per hour, whilst up to 60 self-service kiosks will be installed to improve efficiency at the airport.

Additional changes are being made to the road systems around the airport. A brand new multi-storey car park – with associated roads and ramps – will also be built to accommodate up to 1,300 vehicles.

In order to allow planes to move more efficiently throughout the airport’s runways, 28 fully serviced aircraft stands will also be installed. The new aircraft stands will help to reduce ground level emissions, improve air quality and supply the aircrafts with electricity and preconditioned air.

Phase One of Terminal 2 will comprise a total of nineteen individual projects that are all being implemented concurrently to make the terminal fully operational by the time it reopens to passengers.

Heathrow Limited’s Terminal 2 Programme Director, Joanne White, said:

“The work underway on Terminal 2 is one of the most important initiatives that Heathrow has at the moment and it is central to the transformation of the airport.

“The original Terminal 2 was designed for a capacity of 1.2 million passengers a year, however towards the end of its life it was handling up to 8 million. We decided that this was just not acceptable and a new terminal was required in order to provide a far superior service.

“For us Terminal 2 is a major investment that will improve the passenger experience for the next 30 years through a more efficient service. The terminal will be light and modern and will look fantastic when it is completed.

“The work that has taken place so far on Terminal 2 has already changed the skyline of Heathrow and it is a wonderful project to be involved with.”

The original Terminal 2 building officially opened its doors on April 1, 1955. When it opened the terminal was known as Europa Building, however the facility underwent a name change in 1966 following the opening of Terminal 1.

For more than 50 years Terminal 2 saw an impressive array of celebrities – including Marilyn Monroe and The Beatles – pass through its arrival lounge. However, after 54 years of service Terminal 2 officially closed to passengers in 2009 and in 2010 the building was demolished to make way for the new terminal.

Main contractor for Phase One of Terminal 2 is HETCo, a joint venture between Ferrovial Agroman and Laing O’Rourke. Spanish company Luis Vidal is the architect, whilst the conceptual architect for the project is Foster + Partners.

Main contractor for the satellite pier is Balfour Beatty, whilst Laing O’Rourke is the main contractor for the car park construction.

BAA Capital Director, Steven Morgan, said:

“Laing O’Rourke was awarded the contract following a competitive bid which demonstrated that they fully understood BAA’s intelligent client approach and could deliver a car park and associated infrastructure safely, innovatively and to the highest standards of quality.

“To date, they have successfully worked as one half of the HETCo joint venture responsible for delivering the main terminal building. We now look forward to continuing this relationship on the multi-storey car park.”

Approximately one third of the work on Phase One of Terminal 2 is complete, which includes the construction of just under half of the main terminal building. Once complete the terminal will span five storeys high and measure 200,000 square metres. Approximately 27,000 tonnes of steel work will be used during construction, along with 30,000 square metres of glass.

The main terminal will be fully glazed and has been designed to match the design of all of the existing terminals at the airport.

Several environmentally friendly practices have been implemented throughout the construction of Terminal 2 in order to ensure that the project makes use of as many sustainable materials as possible. Over 95% of the original terminal is being recycled, whilst the extensive glazing in the main terminal building will help to reduce energy usage through the inclusion of solar control glass and angled louvres.

Additional features include 1000 square metres of photovoltaic (PV) panels on the building’s canopy and the installation of a sophisticated lighting system that will reduce energy consumption by switching off lights when they are not in use.

A 12MW biomass boiler heater will also be installed in the energy centre in order to provide hot water for the building. The boiler will be powered using FSC approved timber and once Phase One of Terminal 2 is complete, the building will save around 13,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Additional schemes to increase the levels of recycling in the main terminal building will be put into place once the building opens.

As Heathrow is a live airport, the construction of materials off-site has been maximised wherever possible in order to reduce congestion at the airport and speed up the project’s efficiency.

The steel work for Terminal 2 is being manufactured by Watson’s Steel Structures Limited at their factories in Thirsk and Bolton, whilst mechanical and electrical modules are being developed by CHt Manufacturing in Wolverhampton. Meanwhile, major structural components – including bridge beams – will be precast at Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park in Steetley.

All completed materials are transported to the site to be installed where required.

During the peak of construction, approximately 6,000 people will be working on the site. Throughout the life of the project it is estimated that up to 35,000 people will be involved in the Terminal 2 project.

BAA Chief Executive, Colin Matthews, said:

“The completion of structural work on Terminal 2 puts us within touching distance of a future where Heathrow has some of the best passenger facilities in Europe.

“There’s a lot still to do, but the opening of Terminal 2 could move Heathrow into pole position among European hub airports and allow us to set our sights on elite airports such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Incheon in Seoul.”

Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, added:

“For tens of millions of people each year Heathrow is their first impression of the UK, which is why it is so important that it is a positive one. We have been clear that we want to improve the experience of those travelling through our airports, and this new terminal will do just that.

“This is also a success story for the country’s construction industry, with British-made steel, electronics and engineering responsible for a state-of-the-art facility.”

Once work is completed on the first phase of Terminal 2, the airport facility will become the home of the Star Alliance group of airlines. For the first time all 25 Star Alliance airlines will operate from one terminal, which will also help to improve the airport’s environmental performance by reducing the amount of transfers across the airport.

During the construction of Terminal 2, Star Alliance member carriers are operating from Terminals 1 and 3.

Star Alliance Vice President of Products & Services, Lee Hock Lye, said:

“The Star Alliance member carriers are looking forward to moving into our new home here at Terminal 2, Heathrow. Being located under one roof will enable our airlines to deliver seamless alliance travel to our passengers, further enhancing the current airport customer experience.

“Star Alliance is the world’s leading airline network. The Alliance’s 27 airlines operate over 4000 aircraft, offering more than 21,000 daily flights to 1,290 destinations and carrying over 600 million passengers a year.

“The redevelopment of Terminal 2 will reinforce Heathrow’s position as one of the leading global aviation hubs. From our new home at Heathrow, Star Alliance will be able to compete on an equal footing in the alliance arena, something we have been waiting for ever since the opening of Terminal 5 (in 2008).”

Following the completion of Phase One of Terminal 2, a second phase will extend facilities northwards onto the existing Terminal 1 site. Phase Two will largely concentrate on increasing the airport’s capacity to 30 million passengers and will also include the construction of a second satellite building.

A start date for Phase Two is currently unscheduled, however once Phase Two is complete Terminal 1 will officially close to the public.

Heathrow Airport is owned and operated by BAA Limited, who own and operate five airports across the UK. The airport comprises 5 terminals and 2 runways and is used by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and BMI.

In 2006 Heathrow was rated as one of the worst major airports in Europe. However, after the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008 along with refurbishment works to Terminals 1, 3 and 4, Heathrow is currently rated ahead of all but one of its major rivals. The work conducted on Terminal 2 is expected to put it on equal footing amongst its European rivals.

Phase One of Terminal 2 is scheduled for completion in 2013 and the terminal will reopen to passengers in 2014.

Waterwise Technology Ltd 

Established in 1990 Waterwise Technology Ltd is a UK-based company which develops and manufactures innovative water treatment systems through the use of environmentally-friendly technologies.

Waterwise Technology Ltd comprises a team of professionals – including mechanical and electrical engineers, chemists and water treatment specialists – and pioneers the use of ozone and water recycling in cooling water systems and a variety of other applications.

The company proudly boasts a range of high profile clients including, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter and Gamble, Gatwick Airport,  National History Museum, Bernard Matthews, Morrisons, Co-op Logistics,  Canary Wharf Construction,  Ministry of Defence, and is presently involved with The Shard and 122 Leadenhall projects in London.

Presently Waterwise Technology Ltd is providing all of the equipment to Heathrow Terminal 2 for water treatment, purification and re-use. Waterwise Technology Ltd has a long-standing working relationship with BAA at Heathrow which dates back to 1999 and over the course of 13 years the company has invested a considerable amount of time to improve sustainability at the airport.

Utilising state-of-the-art e-Soft water softeners with reduced water and salt consumption in conjunction with Filtex Ozone Treatment systems Waterwise has effectively reduced the water consumption of the cooling towers at Terminal 2 by almost 20%. In addition, once the new terminal is fully operational, the Waterwise Oasis unit will recycle 75 tonnes of waste cooling water per day.  Moreover, the cooling water system and treatment plant is also designed to operate on a borehole water supply with minimal primary treatment.

Waterwise Technology Ltd Managing Director, Jon Fielder, said:

“At Waterwise our main focus is on sustainability and the environment. In terms of technology, we choose to use our Filtex Ozone non chemical systems as a primary method of treatment which reduces water consumption and minimises discharges to the environment.

“Having been involved with BAA for a number of years we are proud of their confidence in our equipment and pleased to have been given the opportunity to work with them in meeting their sustainability and carbon reduction commitments. Our new recycling units are proving a popular and useful option for this.

“Cooling towers serving air conditioning systems are frequently the largest water user in a commercial office building or a terminal such as this. Therefore the ability to make savings in the water consumption of the cooling towers will substantially reduce the overall water consumption and waste discharges of the building.

“Such savings contribute significantly to any new building’s environmental IPPC assessment rating as well as a company’s commitment to reduce water consumption and waste – not to mention the cost savings too.”

Jon Fielder added:

“Being involved in a project like Heathrow Terminal 2 is very important to us. With the exception of Terminal 5 we work on all of the terminals at Heathrow and so to be involved with a client like BAA –and on one of the biggest projects in the UK – is great!”

About the author

Premier Construction

Leave a Comment