Birmingham Control Tower

Birmingham Control Tower


Towering 105ft above the terminal, the new air traffic control building at Birmingham Airport is an iconic addition to the city’s skyline. Built to replace the 79ft control tower that had been in use since the original terminal opened in 1939, the new £10m building has been designed to meet high standards of sustainability. With such an ambitious project, ensuring the accuracy of the performance specifications was absolutely paramount.


Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool RainScreen Slab was chosen as
the insulation component, thanks to the product’s excellent thermal and acoustic performance – as well as the high-level technical advice, U-value calculations and condensation analysis provided by the manufacturer. 

Earthwool RainScreen Slab is a rock mineral wool slab containing a water repellent additive. It is quick and easy to install, and is simple to cut and fit around brackets. The slabs knit together with no need to tape the joints – ensuring maximum acoustic and thermal performance, with no air gaps. It’s flexible nature made it perfect for the curved walls of the funnel shaped control tower, as the insulation moulded easily to the substrate, creating a snug fit that could not be achieved by using rigid foam boards. Knauf Insulation’s Earthwool RainScreen Slab is also non-combustible and has the highest Euroclass A1 reaction to fire rating, as well as excellent sound absorption performance – both key considerations for safety and comfort within the busy airport environment. Will Heynes, the Airport’s Development Director said: “Sustainabilty, energy performance, fire safety and acoustic protection were all crucial factors taken into account during the design of the new air traffic control tower and so all materials specified with the project needed to meet these multiple requirements. We are extremely pleased with the building which will be operational in April 2013 and believe it is a leading example within aviation construction”.

Earthwool RainScreen Slab is made with ECOSE Technology, a
formaldehyde-free binder derived from rapidly renewable materials, instead of traditional petro-based chemicals used in other insulation. Additionally, ECOSE Technology is up to 70% less energy intensive than traditional binders.

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Client Birmingham City Airport
PROJECT: Birmingham Control Tower
MAIN CONTRACTOR: Simco External Framing Solutions Ltd