Nestled on the Caribbean island of Aruba, the Queen Beatrix International Airport has seen increasing passenger traffic in recent years. In response, the airport set out on a new expansion project – Aruba Gateway 2030. NACO was proud to be selected to design the expansion of the terminal building along with associated works as part of the project.
A Connected Approach to Design
The initial goal for the project was to finalise the design to a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standard. However, as with all of our projects, NACO is driven to exceed expectations, and the team realised that with a small amount of additional effort the project could be designed to a Gold LEED certification. Together with the client, the decision was made to aim for the higher certification.
Several design choices and innovations were made to create a truly sustainable project. Among them, energy demand was minimised by incorporating a highly energy efficient mechanical system, solar heat protection and a roof covered in solar panels. On top of this, the use of recycled building materials and facilitating waste management also means that the design contributes to the circular economy. The design also utilises condense water from the mechanical system to irrigate the airport’s gardens.
Utilising BIM to deliver excellence with ease
A prominent feature of the design process was NACO’s use of advanced Building Information Management (BIM) working methods and digital tooling for developing the new terminal expansion design.
BIM is the process of bringing together data and information from various parties in the design process – architecture, engineering, construction etc. – into a single 3D-model, which can then be worked on by various team members at once, updating in real-time as changes and tweaks to the design are made. The model is informed by a Project Information Management (PIM) model which is populated alongside the BIM model with non-graphical data and documentation.
There are many benefits to using BIM modelling. In the case of this project, by creating a BIM Execution Plan (BEP), NACO laid out a common process from the start that helped streamline and decrease the re-work process further down the line. The use of a single 3D model also proved invaluable when working with the client and stakeholders – allowing for a rich visual representation of the project that enhanced the decision-making process.
Sustainable Design for Aruba Gateway 2030