Changi Jewel's facade to sparkle by June

The facade of the 10-storey mainly commercial development is made up of over 9,000 pieces of specially manufactured glass that transmit light for the landscaping inside to thrive.
The facade of the 10-storey mainly commercial development is made up of over 9,000 pieces of specially manufactured glass that transmit light for the landscaping inside to thrive.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Major works at Jewel Changi Airport to install more than 9,000 pieces of glass - each weighing up to 300kg - will be completed by June.

The facade of the 10-storey mainly commercial Jewel development is made up of more than 9,000 pieces of specially manufactured glass, close to 18,000 pieces of steel beams and over 6,000 steel nodes.

A series of tests and research were conducted to ascertain that the glare emitted off Jewel's surface will not interfere with the daily operations of the air traffic controllers since Changi Airport's air traffic control tower is situated right next to Jewel.

The entire study, engineering and shortlisting of the glass material took two years to complete.

Jewel's head of projects Ashith Alva said: "We work very closely with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, Changi Airport Group and other regulators to ensure that all our works are within accepted regulations and specifications. This is to ensure that airport operations are not affected."

With 75 per cent of the overall construction completed, the facility is on track for an opening next year, said a spokesman for Jewel Changi Airport (Jewel) - a joint venture between Changi Airport Group (CAG) and CapitaLand - during a media preview yesterday.

Mr Ashith said that working on the facade was a complex endeavour as no single piece had the same dimensions and specifications.

Meticulous execution is also required as the glass panels are transported from the ground level to the top of the facade for the roof installation.

It takes up to 20 minutes to install each glass piece, he said, adding that about 50 to 70 can be fixed in a day.

At any one time, there are about 2,000 workers on site, Mr Ashith said.

The glass panels are able to transmit light for the landscaping in Jewel to thrive, and reduce heat to ensure sustainable cooling of the complex's interior.

To ensure that noise levels of the aircraft are kept to a minimum in the building, the glass panels are designed to have an air gap of 16mm to serve as insulation against the noise emitted.

The 10-storey Jewel, with five basement floors, will house about 300 shops and food and beverage outlets.

Highlights include a 40m-high indoor waterfall and a five-storey garden with 2,500 trees and 100,000 shrubs from countries such as Brazil, Australia, Thailand and the United States.

Connected directly to Terminal 1, Jewel will be linked to Terminals 2 and 3 via air-conditioned bridges with travelators.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'Changi Jewel's facade to sparkle by June'. Print Edition | Subscribe