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Gatwick Airport Acoustic Wall

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CIVIL ENGINEERING CATEGORY

The acoustic wall stands over 11m high and is 430m long. Running between the North and South passenger terminals, it forms part of the project to build three new pier extensions at the North Terminal and was designed to protect nearby residents from noise created by aircraft using the new stands.

Precast concrete was chosen as a material for its suitability for off- site fabrication and 'just-in-time' delivery; the provision of colour required by the architect; good sound-deadening qualities; repeatable moulds, which allowed cost savings; and its high and uniform standard of finish. The wall is made up of 344 individual units, each 1.4m-deep, 10m-long, 500mm-thick and weighing just under 12 tonnes. The whole wall is eight units high by 43 units long. The aggregates, white granite from Dumfries and sparkling sand from Plymouth, were exposed by grit-blasting the units.

The design was based on three principles. Firstly, the minimum amount of material had to be used in order to reduce costs. Secondly, each unit had to have sufficient integrity to meet the usual construction and wind loads and additional blast loads. Thirdly, the logistics of transportation had to be effective.

The acoustic wall represents an outstanding use of concrete in providing the right solution for the client's needs. Optimisation of unit design and 'just-in-time' delivery and erection minimised disruption during construction. In addition, cost-effective and imaginative engineering combined with careful choice of natural materials, the high standard of production and finish as well as the original design concept to provide an attractive structure.

PROJECT TEAM

OWNER Gatwick Airport (BAA)

ARCHITECT AND CONSULTING ENGINEER

Anthony Hunt Associates

MAIN CONTRACTOR The Pavement Team (amec JV)

ERECTION SUBCONTRACTOR pce

PRECAST CONCRETE C V Buchan

CEMENT Blue Circle Cement

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