The new Terminal T3 of the Rabat-Salé Airport (under construction)
Assessment of the wind-induced pressure field acting on the roofing
Year: 2018
Client: Office National des Aéroports du Maroc
Location: Rabat – Morocco

According to the Central Office for Airports of Morocco, a new airport terminal is needed in proximity of the city of Rabat, next to western seaside of the country. Being the location area invested by winds coming from the sea, though crossing Rabat and Salé cities, on the left side, and from an open field area on the right one, the profiles designed to conduct the wind tunnel tests are matching the EC1 category 2 concerning the turbulence intensity.

The main feature of the designed structure for the roofing system is that it resembles a flying oriental carpet with a peculiar shape presenting different typologies of curvatures. In particular attention was paid to the central part of the main façade, which presents a concave curvature towards the inside of the terminal and is covered by a dome-like part, representing also the longest overhang plus the most pronounced curvature of the roofing system, and creating an highly positive pressures zone.

A total of 16 wind attack angles were tested (360° in steps of 22.5°) so to obtain pressure punctual values for each direction, from which design values were calculated.

It was apparent that a quite detailed pressure field has to be reconstructed from punctual measurement points, distributed through the whole roofing system and more refined in the most delicate areas.

To accomplish all goals a model was designed and constructed, for instrumenting the whole roofing, 1:300 geometrically scaled and instrumented with 254 simultaneously measuring pressure taps. Wind tunnel tests have been carried out aimed to the evaluation of the pressure field of the entire envelope of the roofing system, presenting and overhand strip on the external perimeter, so that net pressures had to be measured on that. This represented the most tricky phase in the physical model realization.

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