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The South Terminal of Barcelona El Prat Airport - built in 2009 - doubles the amount of traffic in the airport, raising the amount of passengers per year from 32 million to 55 million.

ROCKWOOL responsibles

ROCKWOOL Peninsular S.A.U.
Calle del Bruc, 50; 3º
ES-08010 Barcelona
Spain

Phone:+34 93 318 90 28

Email

Main developer

Aena Group

Contractors

FCC Construcción, Construcciones RUBAU, NECSO, OHL, COPCISA, PROINOSA, DRAGADOS, COMSA, SEFRI Ingenieros, KLIMACAL, Control y montajes industriales CYML

Architects

Ricardo Bofill, Taller de Arquitectura and IBERNISA

The construction of Barcelona El Prat Airport's new South Terminal, comprising 525,000m2 and a car park with 12,000 spaces, began in 2005.

The infrastructure is made up of a central building intended for the processing of passengers (checking in, reclaim of luggage and a commercial area); three gate parking positions; and the transport interchange where different means of transport meet.

When the work ended in 2009, one year ahead of schedule, Peter Hodgkinson, architect at Ricardo Bofill Architecture Workshop and responsible for the project, was interviewed.


What part has ROCKWOOL played in the project? How has ROCKWOOL contributed to the construction of the terminal?
The construction of the new South Terminal is a large-scale airport infrastructure project (we are speaking of the construction of 525,000m2) requiring the highest level of acoustic soundproofing. To that end, over 100,000 m2 of ROCKWOOL mineral wool has been used to insulate the false ceiling which covers the whole of the building as well as other parts of the building that require acoustic soundproofing, thermal insulation and protection against fire.


Has the adaptability of mineral wool allowed for a high quality of acoustics without compromising the design?
Yes, the variety of formats which mineral wool offers has been invaluable to the process of modulation of the false ceiling plates. On the ceiling, an acoustic material has been added between the two layers of ROCKWOOL. This has allowed us to achieve a complete balance between the design and the right insulation, which also reduces the environmental impact.


What kind of structural innovation does the new South Terminal represent?
With some 10,000 passengers passing through every day, The South Terminal has been conceived as an important communications and service centre. In addition, it must be taken into account that half the surface area is dedicated to facilities not accessible to passengers. Due to this logistical and technical complexity and also to the international and multicultural nature of the project, we have designed the building as a composition of diverse and dynamic spaces. On a more technical level, the ceiling is constructed with bidirectional metal trusses to axes of 36 x 36 m, with very slim laminated steel supports without expansion joints.


How is the new airport infrastructure different from that of other terminals?
Thanks to the extension work, the objective of which is to handle the increase in the number of passengers, Barcelona Airport will become one of the major international hubs. The confluence between functionality and design has been essential to the project, which adheres to the criteria of Mediterranean architecture, focussing especially on natural illumination and environmental warmth in all areas destined for passenger use.


Could you tell us specifically what are the main characteristics with regards to energy and acoustic and thermal behaviour in this project?
There are various features of the project which make it unique compared to other airports. One of the most important is the acoustic soundproofing, which is done using the acoustic material and ROCKWOOL mineral wool panels, in compliance with the strict regulations and requirements of Aena with reference to noise management. As we are dealing with a light roof in an airport infrastructure of these dimensions, the acoustic soundproofing solutions used have been essential, given that they will allow a notable reduction in levels of acoustic pollution. With regards to the thermal behaviour, thermal solar panels have been installed over the roofs of the lateral gates, which are sufficient to cover the hot water requirements in the building.


Could you indicate specifically what ROCKWOOL acoustic construction solutions have been used for in the insulation of the building?
On the roof a ROCKWOOL sandwich has been employed over the micro-perforated metal plates of the false ceiling.


What mishaps or technical difficulties have you faced during the project?
Due to the proximity of the sea and the water table being at the same level as the foundations we have had problems with damp. This has obliged us to build a 7 kilometre long wall, which is up to 22 metres deep, around the whole perimeter. 


What impact has the construction had locally?
The roll out of the modernization and extension programme for the existing installations, which will allow greater capacity for air traffic, the Plan Barcelona from is forecast to benefit the economy of Catalonia, specifically in the areas of business and the tourist industry. Likewise, in addition to the construction of the new building, access to the airport has been improved in order to prevent traffic congestion.