Project led by Barry Charnish while employed at a previous firm.
Changsha, People’s Republic of China
Changsha Huanghua International Airport
Structural Engineering Consultant
Among the busiest airports in China, the Changsha Huanghua International Airport is the fifth largest in mainland China and serves the city of Changsha in Hunan province as well as nearby cities including Zhuzhou and Xiangtan.
Standing at 40 m-high and 168 m-in-length, the 212,000 m2 central terminal is one of the largest single steel truss structures in the area. The draped roof structure is reflected in the three-dimensional trussing with intermediated supports which were achieved through a braced three-dimensional steel pier structure. Locally produced steel tubes were used for framing.
The combination of major roof elements achieves a form that is modern, yet recalls traditional Chinese architecture. Openness is created from the departure level entrance, with a clear view through the ticketing area, across the atrium and lounges to the aircraft parked beyond.
Our role on the project began in 2003 and the main terminal was constructed from 2008 to 2011. Expansion work on the airport has already begun.
Challenge: The design was challenged with the need to understand the local fabrication and erection capabilities, and the need to give consideration to these capabilities in the design. We also needed to pass our design to a local design institute with drawing and calculation transfers, which required the need to translate the language of the notes and varying software packages.
Solution: We developed alternate connection strategies for the diagonal elements to the truss chord member connections in order to recognize the limitations of force development and weld quality. We also had local staff with language capabilities that enabled us to demonstrate the design using extensive drawing packages.