The Trick with a Gigantic Roof
At the Heart of Terminal 3

Like a Roller Shutter

How do you get a roof the size of two-and-a-half soccer fields on top of a main terminal building? Good question! Terminal 3’s planners had to wrack their brains to find a solution. The original plan had been for heavy-duty cranes to lift the roof in one piece onto the building from two sides. But since work to build Pier G has already started on one side, that isn’t an option anymore. The solution: to push five roof sections on from one side, one after the other. Simplifying considerably, the principle can be compared with a roller shutter that is pulled very slowly over a window. This is how the individual sections will reach their positions, one after the other, until the entire roof is in place.

Precise Preparations and Exacting Work

Materials are being temporarily stored just west of the main terminal building. The required rotating tower cranes are also being installed there. The auxiliary framework being set up on the roof of the second level gives an impression of how high the future check-in hall will be. Eighteen-meter-tall steel towers loom over the building’s future check-in area. Construction workers are assembling the parts of a roof section on them. For each one, steel elements are assembled into a kind of three-dimensional framework roughly 4.5 meters tall. First, workers connect the steel supporting structures and seal the sections at the top. To eliminate the need for suspended work platforms at a later stage, they integrate required equipment and features during this stage of the work, including cable conduits, sprinklers, and the ventilation system. Finally, they attach a grated platform for subsequent maintenance work.

Five with One Blow

Once a section has been completed assembled on top of the auxiliary construction, five hydraulic strand jacks come into play. Mounted on skidways, they raise the roughly 2,500-tonne assembled section just enough so that it can be moved. Then it is advanced at a snail’s pace toward the east until it reaches its final position. When the next section has arrived alongside it, they are joined to one another and to the underlying supports. This procedure is repeated until all five sections are in place.

Related Topics: Main Building