Soaring Solar Airport Solution Provides Light + Energy
One of the most difficult problems of solar design is how to use the roof to make electricity, yet also to serve other purposes. For example, you might need to have a green roof for insulation, yet also want to put a solar array on it to make energy. They are competing uses for the same space, while both reduce carbon emissions.
In this case, Foster+Partners needed to design a carbon constrained, energy efficient new terminal at Heathrow thatÂ provided an open airy skylight to reduce energy use, yet also use the roof to power the building with solar panels.
Trust Foster+Partners to find an elegant solution. Simply split open the roof in an undulating pattern, providing equal parts horizontal surfaces for solar, and vertical surfaces for light. Bottom line? An airport terminal with 40% less carbon emissions.
The new building utilizes large north-facing windows in the roof to flood the building with natural light without generating uncomfortable levels of heat in the building, while using solar panels on the roof to supply part of the electricity.