Canadian Consulting Engineer

Pearson International: Infield Developments

Halsall Associates provided the structural and cladding engineering services for the $250-million infield development program at Pearson International Airport. To make way for the new terminal, severa...

August 1, 2003   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Halsall Associates provided the structural and cladding engineering services for the $250-million infield development program at Pearson International Airport. To make way for the new terminal, several cargo and other buildings had to be demolished on the east side of the airport. Their replacements have been built on a 150-hectare area between the north-south runways, accessed by a 600-metre long tunnel.

The program involved three cargo buildings, a large airplane hangar and an equipment maintenance building. There is also a holdroom terminal with 11 gates that is operating to ease passenger congestion during the terminal’s construction. The Holdroom’s structural engineer is affiliate Peter Sheffield and Associates. All the projects were built on tight schedules between November 1999 and 2002.

The 31,000-m2 Three Bay Hangar Facility can accommodate three B747-400 planes or a variety of smaller aircraft and has 6,000 square metres of annexed offices and workshops. The main steel structure has columns up to 30 metres high and three continuous 4.3-m deep roof trusses that each have 86-m spans. The steel fabricator, Canam Manac, worked with the engineers on the structural design; it has no expansion joints but is detailed to accommodate movements in the steel caused by severe temperature variations. When the large hangar doors are opened for long periods, the temperature can go from +20C to -20C. The cladding moves with the structure. Below grade is a deluge water tank for firefighting that is five metres deep and holds a million gallons of water.

Another infield building is the 30,000-m2 Air Canada Cargo building. It measures 212 metres long x 106 metres wide by 22 metres high, with spans on a 16 x 17 metre grid and lateral exterior crossbracing. Inside is an almostly completely automated cargo handling system; the operator selects the item on a computer and a robot-like machine retrieves it from storage on an inlaid rail system.

The Holdroom Terminal is a two-storey, C-shaped structure with a floor area of 20,000 square metres. It has 9-m x 9-m structural bays with lateral bracing provide by rigid steel frames in each direction to ensure flexibility for future space changes. The steel roof deck is curved to harmonize with other infield buildings, and the ground side elevation has a continuous 6-metre cantilever canopy to protect passengers as they board or disembark from buses.

Infield buildings structural design and cladding engineering: Halsall Associates (Mike Buckley, P.Eng., Gregory Andrews, P.Eng., Mike Jelicic, P.Eng.)

Peer review and structural design of HoldroomTerminal: Peter Sheffield & Associates

Architect: Bregman & Hamann

Compliance consultants: WZMH Architects (MMM)

Contractor: PCL

Steel fabricator: Canam Manac


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