Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Steel Buildings – Heathrow’s T5 Colossus

Heathrow’s Terminal 5 has come in for plenty of criticism of late but this belies the fact it is one of the UK’s most impressive steel buildings. With 15 years of planning and 5 years to build using engineers and road haulage companies, T5 certainly has made aviation waves.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the T5 Terminal at Heathrow has is the UK’s largest free standing construction and has sufficient floor space to fit in 50 football pitches. As such, the construction behemoth has to rank up there with the UK’s most visually striking and ambitious steel buildings. Estimated to have cost in the region of £4.2 billion to complete, it is safe to say that as well as being the largest, it is also one of the most expensive steel buildings ever constructed.

Steel Buildings – Years in the Making

Few steel buildings could have been as ambitious in design and expensive in completion as the mammoth T5 Terminal at Heathrow Airport. According to the report in the Daily Mail, the terminal itself consists of some 80,000 tonnes of steel, 17,000 of which is lining the vast steel building’s roof. The structure was designed by world famous architect Richard Rogers and will solidify Heathrow’s status as the world’s busiest airport. The are very few steel buildings that can boast such an abundance of design ideas and creations as Heathrow’s T5 Terminal and, despite early teething problems, there are few out there who can deny that it is one of the greatest construction achievements so far as steel buildings are concerned.

Steel Buildings – T5’s Vital Statistics

On top of being one of the world’s most expensive steel buildings, weighing in at a not unsubstantial £4.2 billion, Heathrow’s T5 Terminal has some equally as impressive statistics. According to the report in the Daily Mail, the steel structure’s capacity is 1.5 million cubic yards of concrete which theoretically means that it is large enough to engulf the new Wembley stadium. In addition to this rather impressive statistic is the fact that T5 has over 11 miles of conveyor belts which is home to the terminal’s computerised, automated baggage system. All in all, it is safe to say that so far as steel buildings go, Heathrow’s T5 Terminal is up there amongst the best of them and the term ‘grand design’ may not quite do it justice.

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