Abu Dhabi International Airport, Midfield Complex, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi International Airport, Midfield Complex

The new Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Complex will be transforming the desert into the ‘Garden of the Gulf’. The scale of the Departure Hall, a 50-meter-high space rendered largely column-free through the use of long span leaning arches, endows the building with an open, outdoor quality. The civic nature of the central space is complemented by retail and food outlets, a program of public art including a gallery space, and a secluded garden. On plan, the X-shape provides the greatest programmatic efficiencies enabling the terminal to extend from 39 to 49 gates which would ultimately process around 50 million travelers each year.

The insulated glazing units will be equipped with high performance selective coatings in order to efficiently filter daylight from unwanted non visual solar radiation wavelengths. By this 34% of the daylight can pass through the clear glass but only 21% of the solar heat gain can enter the building, therefore reducing solar gains.

The facade glazing units will get a ceramic frit pattern on the outside that blocks the suns radiation. An increased fritting density from bottom (no frit) to top (50% opaque frit) effectively reduces the solar radiation entering at low angle sun positions even further. To optimize thermal comfort for the conditioned spaces the interior glazing surface is equipped with a clear low-e hard coating that reduces heat radiation from the hot glass surfaces. It also creates a thermal mirror effect: rather than emitting its own surface temperature, it reflects the cooler surface temperature of internal surfaces within the pier. This effect reduces the mean radiant temperature of the space which enhances thermal comfort ratings for the occupants.

The optimized facade performance enables a displacement ventilation approach, which supplies the air at higher supply air temperatures and low air velocity. This concept also allows stratification of the air temperature over the height of the air volume as the conditioned supply air is spreading over the floor of the occupied bottom zone. Due to increased supply air temperatures and reduced air velocities the ventilation scheme achieves significant increase in thermal comfort for the passengers within the hold rooms.