London’s Heathrow is the world’s third-busiest airport, a hub for some 67 million passengers every year. (Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson and Chicago’s O’Hare are tops, with 90 million and 69 million, respectively.) To help ease congestion, BAA, which owns and operates Heathrow, is shelling out $7.8 billion to remodel its structures. Today, we got a first look at the brighter, greener future of Terminal 2:
Designed by Foster + Partners–the folks who revamped London’s Stansted Airport–the new $1.6 billion Terminal 2 will produce 40% less carbon than its predecessor. How? By featuring large north-facing
windows that flood the building with natural light without
generating too much heat. There will also be solar panels on the roof, and a new energy center–powered in part by renewable resources–that will heat and cool the building.
Terminal 2 will remain open throughout the construction process (read: it gets worse before it gets better). When the final phase is completed in 2019, the structure should be able to service an additional 10 million passengers per year. Presumably, they’ll be shuttling around in the creepy driverless taxis we wrote about last week.