Two months ago Beijing officially opened the world’s largest airport. Designed by the Pritzker-winning architect Zaha Hadid, Daxing’s structure resembles a giant starfish from above, although meant to resemble a phoenix. Designed in consultation with Xu Bing, one of China’s most prominent contemporary artists, the courtyards are modeled after a classic Chinese garden, with landscape featuring ample wooden benches, pavilions, and winding pathways lined with greenery and rocks. The new airport is one of the most technologically advanced airports in the world, and follows an environmentally friendly “Green City” philosophy. Located on relatively low-lying land, it requires highly efficient and reliable drainage equipment. The pumps also had to be energy efficient to meet the environmental impact goals of the entire airport project. Xylem was selected to provide eight rain-water pump stations on the runways, including 34 sets of Flygt pumps. “Xylem organized an expert team for the project, which had extensive experience in providing solutions for international airports,” says Chen Wenbin, Northern Sales Manager for Xylem China’s Commercial Building Team. “The team developed a solution to meet the special efficiency and resiliency requirements of Beijing Daxing International Airport.”
Given that the airport is expected to serve 45 million annual passengers by 2021, any delays due to heavy rains not being discharged in a timely manner will cause serious economic losses and major inconveniences for travellers. To prevent this, the airport has a secondary drainage system including a rainwater pipeline, water tank, pump station and an open drainage channel. The water pumps are critical to the effective operations of the drainage systems.
Xylem also helped develop the ground-source heat pump system for the airport, which is an energy efficient solution, a critical requirement for the project. This system supplies heating and cooling for the offices and public area of the airport, and also needed to have a low environmental impact. Heat exchange pipes were buried in 11,000 wells, and two energy stations were built, including eight ground-source heat pump sets.
The pumps help extract ground heat in the winter and provide cooling in the summer. The ground-source heat pumps generate 10% of the renewable energy used in the entire airport.
“The ground-source heat pump system helps the airport reduce energy and emissions by supplying renewable energy,” says Shi Lin, Technical Manager for Commercial and Residential Buildings and Water Application Systems for Xylem China.
He added: “We worked together to provide a clean energy source for the airport that will last long into its future.”