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Heathrow celebrates the Topping Out ceremony at Terminal 2

Category: General / 29 February 2012

Yesterday in London, a Topping Out Ceremony was held to celebrate the placement of the roof structure on Heathrow’s new Terminal 2, which marks the completion of the major structural works led by Ferrovial Agroman, as part of the construction of the new Terminal 2 building at Heathrow Airport.

The ceremony was attended by the British Transport Minister, Justine Greening, and the top executives of Ferrovial: Rafael del Pino, Ferrovial Chairman, Íñigo Meirás, CEO of Ferrovial, Nicolás Villén, CEO of Ferrovial Airports, Alejandro de la Joya, CEO of Ferrovial Agroman and Colin Mathews, CEO of BAA. Thus, the key people responsible for the project, from both BAA and Ferrovial Agroman UK, were present at the ceremony.

When it opens its doors in 2014, the new Terminal 2 will handle 20 million passengers each year. Heathrow aims to significantly improve the passenger experience at the airport with this new terminal. When designing the building, experts studied the movements of people, aircraft, materials and equipment, in order to achieve greater fluidity in without compromising security.

Terminal 2 brings an end to Heathrow's transformation process, which began with the opening of Terminal 5 in 2008, and which will benefit from investment of 4.8bn pounds.

Justine Greening, the UK Minister of Transport, said "Each year Heathrow gives tens of millions of people their first impression of the United Kingdom. It is therefore vital that this be a positive one. This building project also benefits British industry linked to steel, electronics and engineering, ensuring a cutting edge facility".

To minimise the impact on passengers, the construction of Terminal 2 is being carried out in two stages: in the first stage, the main terminal is built where the old Terminal 2 and Queens building once stood. A satellite terminal will also be built, called Terminal 2B, which will have additional spaces for aircraft and boarding gates. The first stage of the project is set to open to passengers in 2014.

The second stage will extend the main Terminal 2 building to the north, on the site of the current Terminal 1. This stage, which includes the construction of a second satellite building T2C, will increase Terminal 2's capacity from 20 million to 30 million passengers each year.

According to the CEO of BAA, Colin Matthews: "The completion of the structural works on Terminal 2 brings us considerably closer to a future Heathrow with some of the best passenger facilities in Europe. The opening of T2 will place Heathrow in a strong position amongst the European "hubs", and bring it up to the level of leading airports, such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Incheon in Seoul".

Terminal 2 is the largest privately financed construction project in the United Kingdom. The investment in Heathrow has been entirely funded by BAA. An estimated 35,000 people will work on the project over the construction phase. At its peak, 5,000 will be working at the same time.

The first of the new green generation of terminals in Europe

The new Terminal 2, which is the first in a new generation of green terminals in Europe, is subject to building sustainability certification (BREEAM), the most widespread method used in the sector, which assesses environmental aspects of the design, construction and operation of the building. The roof design, in undulating waves with north facing skylights, captures maximum natural light to reduce artificial lighting. Furthermore, 100% of the demolition materials from the old T2 and adjacent building have been recycled and put towards sustainable building plans.

The carbon emissions of the new Terminal 2 will also be considerably lower than those of the building it replaces. The large north facing roof windows will let in natural light, reducing dependency on artificial light without generating more heat than is desirable inside the building. Solar panels on the roof will further reduce dependency on conventional energy sources. Furthermore, the new energy centre, fed partly by woodchips from renewable sources, will provide heating and cooling for the building.

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