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The umbrella shaped concourse roof of the new railway station at Madinah, Saudi Arabia, uses a lightweight advanced composite solution to meet both the architectural design and natural light access requirements, alongside demanding build specifications.
Scott Bader explains that the new Madinah station is part of the ambitious and highly prestigious Haramain High-speed Railway project in Saudia Arabia, connecting the cities of Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and the developing King Abdullah Economic City. It says a key factor in materials selection for this complex modular station building design was the need for the interconnecting roof panels to be structurally lightweight and relatively easy to install onsite during construction. This was achieved by using a foam cored sandwich FRP laminate. The composite panels also need to be fire resistant and able to cope long-term with prolonged exposure to strong UV sunlight and the extreme temperature cycling that is typical in the Middle East, which can alternate from +50°C during the day to sub-zero at night.
Scott Bader says that, to help minimise the overall installed roof weight, Crestabond M1-30 structural adhesive was specified wherever possible in preference to using mechanical fixings. The galvanised steel Rock Wool pins, metal C-brackets and stainless steel chequered sheets used in the construction were bonded to the FRP roof panels using Crestabond M1-30. A total of 41 individual FRP roof sub-panels fit together to make up each of the 27m2 interlinked square shaped curved modules of the station’s concourse roof’s eye catching umbrella design. The lightweight FRP composite panels specified for the Madinah station roof were fabricated by Dubai based Premier Composite Technologies (PCT). The FRP sandwich laminate panels were moulded using glass fibre reinforcements, a fire retardant epoxy resin and a closed cell foam core. Each moulded FRP roof panel was then finished with coloured glass mosaic tiles on the external surface. PCT manufactured a total of 1,312 lightweight composite sandwich panels to cover the massive 26,400m2 surface area of the new Madinah station concourse roof.
According to Scott Bader, to complete the overall ambience and lighting effect created by the architectural design, the composite roof has a suspended inner ceiling made of green anodised aluminium segments with a special embossed perforated pattern and fixed anti-glare lamellas to help achieve high reflectivity (a minimum of 95%). Anti-glare glass skylights have also been incorporated into the recesses of the roof to enhance the light distribution inside the station.
Photo provided by Scott Bader.
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