Foster + Partners is working on an expansion to the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan that includes a whole host of sustainable features. Inspired by palm trees, the roof will be made up of photovoltaic canopies that shield it from the sun while generating renewable energy and allowing for natural ventilation.

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Foster + Partners’ expansion is designed around the existing runway and will add a new terminal building big enough to be able to handle three times as much traffic as it does now. With many open-air gardens and naturally ventilated courtyards, air can easily circulate underneath the canopies to cool the interiors. Light will pour through the spaces in between the canopies and pools of water will reflect incoming light onto the ceiling while providing a comfortable microclimate. The roof canopy will also act as thermal storage to both heat and cool the building and it will also collect rainwater and night time condensation. Lastly, a bank of photovoltaic panels will be mounted on the roof to generate electricity.

The expansion will allow the airport, which is located about 20 miles south of Amman, to handle about 9 million passengers a year. Work started on the expansion back in 2005 and is expected to be completed sometime in 2011.

Via Ecofriend and Travel With Frank Gehry