Beijing Daxing International: a new model airport


Between Beijing Municipality and Hebei Province, one airport is setting new standards in passenger movement, sustainability and design.  

Built to accommodate 72 million passengers, two million tons of cargo, and more than 600,000 take-offs and landings, Beijing-Daxing Airport’s 1.4million square meter terminal building is the largest seismic-isolation building in the world, making it resilient and safe in case of an earthquake. And that is just one of many innovations.

Technological and sustainable advancement
Sustainability has been built into the airport throughout. Its innovative “c-shape” columns support a 200-metre-span space in the core area that lets daylight into the interior, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

At the same time, the terminal deploys the world’s largest coupled shallow ground source heat pump system – a renewable energy source providing 16% of the airport’s energy needs.

End-user experiences
The airport is intended to be big and busy, so it is a remarkable achievement to have designed a building that ensures passengers are no more than eight minutes from any boarding gate. Further passenger-centric thinking has seen it built with triple-deck departure and double-deck arrival floors to help with passenger-flow which ensures the airport can turn planes and journeys around quickly.

The whole airport is designed with pre-and-post flight travel in mind too. High-speed rail, intercity trains and express rail all sit underneath the terminal so that passengers can enjoy zero-distance transfer onto connecting low-carbon routes.

All of this saw the airport achieve platinum logo certification for easy-travel, and it sets a new global standard for its architectural space.

Low carbon airport
Beijing Daxan International has been highlighted as a potential model for more sustainable airports around the world, being given the Award for Excellence by global industry leaders.

As well as its coupled shallow ground source heat pump system, the airport works hard to be energy efficient. The ground air conditioning system is 50% more efficient than conventional systems. At the same time, its double-layer metal roof used for exterior cladding serves as high-performing thermal insulation.

To avoid concentrated heat load, 47,000 square metre skylights maximize natural lighting, which allows the check-in hall and piers on the 4th floor to avoid the need for artificial lighting in daylight hours. 

The Award of Excellence has been given, as part of the 2021 FIDIC Project Awards, to eight global projects on the basis of sustainability and impact.

This project was nominated by Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (Group) Co.

Putting passengers at the centre of design