Heathrow goes adobe

heathrow outdoor learning buildingsHeathrow has announced a ground-breaking ‘adobe’ buildings scheme which will offer 21 local schools £85,000 each to install an ‘adobe’ building in their grounds, as part of its drive to reduce the impact of noise on local communities.

The move follows the successful pilot of an adobe building in a Hounslow school.

Adobe buildings are specially designed eco-friendly domes made from long tubes of soil. Their innovative shape and design – which can seat up to thirty pupils – provides significant noise respite from overhead aircraft, whilst still retaining a feeling of being outside.

The scheme is part of Heathrow’s commitment to exploring innovative solutions to reduce the impact of aircraft noise. The UK’s hub has already part-funded installation of an adobe building in Hounslow Heath Infant School. The Airport say the building was a huge success, used by pupils during playtime and lunch breaks and supporting the school’s curriculum by providing opportunities for outdoor learning without interruption from aircraft.

Kathryn Harper-Quinn, Head Teacher from Hounslow Heath Infant School said: “At Hounslow Heath Infant School we are delighted with the impact our wonderful adobe buildings have had on our teaching. Children and staff can all enjoy and benefit from carefully planned experiences outdoors without the disruption from aircraft noise.”

Since 2005, Heathrow has provided noise insulation for schools to make sure indoor lessons continue uninterrupted by aircraft noise. With outdoor learning now becoming an increasingly important part of the curriculum, Heathrow is ensuring pupils can now enjoy their outdoor lessons too.

Matt Gorman, Sustainability Director, said: “We know that aircraft noise has an impact on local communities. This new and innovative scheme has already proved a great success in providing pupils with noise respite and we hope all 21 schools will enjoy the buildings as much as Hounslow Heath has.”

Heathrow will fully fund the scheme across all schools that have already qualified for sound insulation and ventilation through the Community Buildings Noise Insulation Scheme. The scheme is designed to provide acoustic insulation to noise sensitive buildings in the community.

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