Well Connected

Lester B. Pearson International Airport

This new terminal consists of 68 gates with a gross building area of 4.2M square feet, built to replace existing Terminals 1 and 2.

A significant feature of this project is the high degree of flexibility designed into the systems.  The “spine” of the electrical distribution system is set up as a series of nodes in a continuous service band.

Electrical System

Due to the massive overall length of the building, a medium voltage distribution strategy was put in place utilizing ‘utility style’ equipment within the terminal proper.  Each substation was designed in a common ’modular’ fashion to allow flexibility for present and future power needs.

The design required inherent resiliency such as dual medium voltage feeds, redundant transformation, diesel driven back-up generators and uninterruptable power supplies. Down-time due to maintenance or equipment failure was unacceptable in a 24/7/365 world class airport. 

Security System

A complete security system consisting of CCTV/ surveillance, access control and monitoring, duress, intercoms, intrusion detection.  The system consists of greater than 1700 cameras and distributed digital recording systems.  The entire system is monitored and controlled off site in a resilient Security Operations Control Centre. Cabling design is part of the facility’s structured cabling system.

IT System- 30,000 Data Ports across 50 LAN rooms, 3 computer rooms

Security, Airport Operations, Voice/Data, Public Address, Airline Systems, multimedia and a host of other systems were deployed on a converged ‘common’ network infrastructure supporting converged IP transport for all these airport and tenant systems  (both high speed wireless and wired transport). Redundant data centres, dual redundant fibre backbones and distributed network infrastructure provided for a fully flexible highly technologically focused environment.

"It was during the seven year period working on Pearson that I saw the potential for large, complex, overlapping system design, and this intense experience was quickly followed by additional airport projects around the world that helped MBII emerge as experts in the field."

Bob Lymer, P. Eng., President

Design was started in 1997 and completed years later. The first phase of construction was scheduled to open in 2004.

Due to the protracted construction period, technological advances had to be anticipated and flexibility had to be built into systems for ‘future proofing’. As an example, raceways were cleverly embedded beneath granite inserts in the terrazzo floor in anticipation of power and data requirements for e-ticketing kiosks. When the terminal opened in 2004, e-ticketing kiosks were in the prototype phase and some were easily added on the departure level.

Construction had to advance prior to completion of all contract documentation.

Electrical drawings and specifications were issued a full year in advance of the completion of architectural documentation. Flexibility for change was introduced by the design of two mid building service bands. All services were located within these bands and were easily accessible to the useable space surrounding the bands. Changes throughout construction were thus easily accommodated.

The enormous size of the facility created cable distance challenges.

Key challenges were the physical allocation of LAN rooms and pathways in the facility to allow all devices to be connected within 90m cable distance to a LAN room.  The enormous size of the facility and nature of the architectural design created significant cable distance challenges which were overcome through detailed planning during the design and engineering.

Responding to site originated requests for information for such a large and complicated project was a challenge.

MBII joined the rest of the design team in a project office onsite to facilitate direct communication with the contactors.


Project Start: 1997
Project Completion: 2004-07

Project Size: 4.2M s.f.
Construction Cost: $3.5B
Electrical Cost: $160M
IT & Network Infrastructure Cost: $40M
IT Systems Cost: $60M
Security System Cost: $34M




Airport / Transportation

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