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by Technews
Issue Date: June 2003

Johannesburg Domestic Terminal - a world-class structure

1 June 2003

The new Johannesburg Domestic Terminal was opened on 11 February 2003.
"What an incredible improvement," remarks Tex van Deventer, managing director of Bentley Systems South Africa. "At last the Johannesburg Domestic Terminal makes you look forward to the journey. I think we are all in agreement that the old airport terminal was way beyond its sell-by date and we are incredibly proud that Bentley software again had a role to play in the design of this world class terminal.
"Long-standing Bentley user and superior structural engineering firm, LC Consulting, was involved in the process. Throughout the building structural steel plays a major role in ensuring the efficient and effortless flow of passengers between destinations. This is achieved in a multitude of innovative ways expressing the characteristics of steel to its best effect.
While arrivals by road take place under a 20 m cantilevered tubular canopy, parkade pedestrian traffic is fed into the building via a steel bridge suspended from the underside of the newly constructed through-road flyover. This bridge punches through the sloped western façade together with a number of cladded steel wind lobbies which have been connected to the departures level inside the building via suspended steel bridges. These bridges span over a triple volume space formed by the arrivals, retail and departures levels, which are interconnected by means of a steel framed and glazed lift operating between these levels, as well as a massive travelator structure hanging from Macalloy rods fixed to the ends of enormous plated steel cantilever brackets.
The departures hall is punctuated by the presence of backlit steel tree columns supporting the plant rooms above, while providing services and ducting with access to the floors below. Links to the airside is achieved by spanning central spine girder bridges between the southern façade of the terminal building and vestibule structures over a distance of 38 m. Walkways cantilever from both sides of these spine girders to provide passengers with unobstructed views of the airport below.
The southern façade consists of steel framing, glass infill panels and Bond-dek walkways in complementary proportions, all daringly supported on splayed steel capped cantilever beams. Lateral support of the steel façade frame columns has been achieved through the use of tension rods on both sides of the façade while diagonal ties are providing support to the grated walkways.
The new domestic terminal at the Johannesburg Airport is certainly a world class structure and will, with time, become a monument of technological elegance with a distinct, but subtle African flavour that will perpetuate the memories of those fortunate enough to have been involved with its erection. Steel played a major role in this achievement.
For more information contact Bentley Systems on 011 462 5811.

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