Premier Composite Technologies (PCT) has completed the installation of the fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP)-panel roof on the Madinah railway station in Saudi Arabia. As part of the Haramain High Speed railway project, the project is one of the most extensive uses of advanced composites in the architectural industry to date, including four passenger stations with a total of more than 160,000 square meters of FRP roof panels.
Each FRP panel had to meet four requirements: be structurally lightweight, fire resistant, immune to extreme temperatures and weather conditions and easy to install. PCT worked alongside Foster + Partners and Buro Happold to create an advanced composite solution that would meet all requirements. Installation began in October 2013; PCT is the first contractor to complete their roof project.
The roof panels have unique diamond-shaped skylights incorporated into the design to use as much natural light as possible. The skylights are dropped into the molded recess after the roof is assembled and equipped with an anti-glare system to enhance the light distribution inside the station. The suspended inner ceiling, made of green anodised aluminium segments with an embossed perforated pattern and fixed anti-glare lamellas, helps achieve high reflectivity (a minimum of 95 percent).
“We are seeing much more interest in composites in architecture,” said Mark Hobbs, senior engineer at Gurit. “They are still seen as quite novel, whereas composites have been used in other markets like aerospace, marine and transport for quite a number of years. It’s an interesting area for us to take technology that’s well proven and bring it into a new field.”