Mexico City’s New Airport: The most sustainable building in the world
New Mexico City International Airport (AICM)
In terms or architecture, sustainability is a worldwide trend influencing modern design, planning and construction, applied from office buildings to soccer stadiums. It consists on designing and creating buildings using environmentally friendly processes, where the resources are efficiently and rationally managed; it’s also a matter of finding a balance between the construction itself, while respecting the environment, therefore reducing the overall impact.
Under such premises, Fernando Romero (FR-EE/Fernando Romero Enterprise), the young Mexican architect who is responsible for the Soumaya Museum, teamed up with famed British architect, Norman Foster –from Foster + Partners, a firm known for creating modern emblematic airports–, and NACO –Neatherlands Airport Consultants, who have worked with over 500 airports–, to design and build the new Mexico City International Airport (AICM for its initials in Spanish).
Mexico City’s current international airport is in desperate need of a breather and new life… It must be revolutionized! That is exactly where the new project comes to life and saves the day: A completely new AICM, envisioned turning into the most sustainable building in the world.
Designing an environmentally friendly airport that meets the needs of Mexico City’s growing demands was a tough challenge; nonetheless with effort, research and creativity, the solution was a mere grasp away and fully viable: The gathering of technologies and introduction of new methods will enable the full construction of this monumental building, which will include the introduction of a lightweight glass and a steel structure featuring an elevated vaulted roof, especially created for the soil conditions in the area.
This structure makes use of the solar power, provides shade, collects water and also helps maintain a comfortable temperature using outside air, consuming little or no heating or cooling. This new airport is planned to be the world’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Platinum rated airport, a certification that validates green buildings through design guidelines and measurable parameters.
As a whole, the project will provide several benefits for the country: the creation of 400 thousand direct jobs by the end of the second phase, which is intended to be concluded by 2020; it is also a catalyst for social development; it will also allow the entry of 120 million passengers per year, and will also leave just under 20 acres of land, meant for green areas. Last but not least, it will feature modern and functional water collection systems that will prevent flooding in nearby areas.
This monumental, revolutionary and iconic construction is the first step on to airport innovation for the country, a tool of social transformation that helps create the identity of Mexico in the 21st century.
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