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Connector, Brussels Airport’s most striking innovation of 2015!

Anke Fransen, Media Relations Manager, Brussels Airport Company

Brussels Airport will soon open Connector, the new beating heart of the airport.

Brussels Airport started this project to enhance the experience of its passengers, offering them a pleasant and comfortable stay at the airport. At the same time, Brussels Airport wanted a state-of-the-art building that not only meets every technical requirement, but is also sustainable.

With a total cost of more than €70 million, Connector is the biggest investment of Brussels Airport since the construction of Pier A in 2002. The Belgian branch of the architecture practice CTHM (Chapman Taylor – Bureau Happold – MOSS) was commissioned by Brussels Airport to draw up the building plans in 2011. The interior and exterior design combine aesthetics, functionality and environmentally-friendly features.

The new building includes a central platform for access and security screening. The 25-lane screening facility will be the first in the world to provide remote screening of cabin baggage. This innovation will increase the efficiency and speed of the screening process and will considerably improve passenger comfort.

Once fully operational, the new screening platform will be one of the largest in Europe and positions Brussels Airport as one of the leading airports in Europe.

NEW PASSENGER EXPERIENCE

After screening, passengers can stroll down Connector, enjoying the magnificent view of the tarmac or do some shopping, have a drink or a nice meal while waiting for boarding to start. Brussels Airport has chosen contemporary, international and high-end concepts for these shops and restaurants, with special attention to Belgian gourmet.

With a total glass surface area of 4,600m², Connector is a light and airy building offering a panoramic view of the tarmac and the airport activities. The glass facades and the skylights allow for maximum penetration of natural light.

ECOLOGICALLY SMART

One of Brussels Airport’s main requirements for the design of Connector was its ecological footprint. Connector largely exceeds legal standards and uses energy efficient techniques. Connector has a K-value (indicating the energy efficiency of a building) of 20, which is just above the value of passive buildings (K-15).

How did Connector get a value this low? To limit solar heat gain in summer, the glass facade on the west was equipped with special sunscreens, while the facade on the eastside features vertical fins. The skylights facing north are made of high-performance low-energy glass panes. LED lighting is used to reduce the consumption of electricity. The HVAC systems recover heat and tanks are installed to collect rainwater to be used for cleaning and for flushing toilets. Thermal energy storage is used for heating and cooling purposes.