Lyon Bron’s ‘green’ hangar reduces power consumption

 - April 28, 2010, 8:06 AM

Lyon Bron Airport (Booth No. 545) inaugurated a 32,000-sq-ft hangar on April 2. The $4.7 million facility, designated H8, can hold nine business aircraft. It also offers 2,800 sq ft of office space. The French airport received an ISO 9001 rating in March. Its business aviation enclave plans to build four more hangars pending a demonstration of sufficient demand. If built, the five hangars would add 215,000 sq ft, trebling today’s hangar area.

The maximum wingspan for an aircraft using H8 is 70 feet, length is 79 feet. So, for example, a Dassault Falcon 900LX will fit, but a Falcon 7X will not. The building’s usable height is 31 feet.

Marion Choiral, architect with Atelier 4+, builder of the hangar, told AIN the main challenge was to make the hangar’s maximum external height, 33 feet, compatible with the door’s opening height, 31 feet. The difficulty was avoiding use of internal pillars that would have hampered aircraft handling.

Part of the environmentally friendly roof holds 15,000 sq ft of photovoltaic cells that are expected to produce 90 megawatt-hours of energy per year. Prior to installation, local aviation authorities had to confirm that light reflection on the panels will not disturb or interfere with the pilots in the area.

Another part of the roof is covered with vegetation that is expected to retain rainwater rather than collecting it and voiding it through an already busy water network. Honeysuckle has been planted on the office side of the building with the object of protecting the offices against excessive heat from the sun in summer, while its leaves will drop in autumn and allow the sun’s rays to warm the wall
and windows. Particular care was taken to choose a plant that would not attract a lot of bugs that “would have, in turn, attracted birds. You do not want birds on an airport,” Choiral said.

Another environmentally friendly feature in the building is the inclusion of “solar tubes” in the toilets. They act as a large optic fiber, transmitting light from the roof, and were supposed to cut down on the use of electric power during the daytime. However, the intent is undermined by the fact that an electric light automatically turns on when the toilet door is opened.

Last year Lyon Bron Airport recorded a 7-percent decrease in aircraft movements to 6,700. “We were not hit too hard, thanks to the local economy doing relatively well,” airport manager Eric Dumas told AIN. The first months of this year were impacted by bad weather and air traffic control strikes.