Sector Focus: Aviation

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About Aviation Posted by Prater on July 24th 2017

When delivering roofing, façade or complete envelope work at airport facilities it is imperative to think about logistics and health and safety for what is ultimately – a unique construction environment. Here Pre-Contracts Manager Patrick Flannelly looks at the issues to consider. 

“When planning and delivering projects in the aviation sector, the complexities are wide and varied from concept, through to logistics. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the requirements of these projects and how best to approach them.

Secure by Design

Increased safety and security features are now fundamental in modern airport design. Whilst safety remains the absolute priority, it is important to ensure that designs also maintain the architectural integrity of the building. 

Blast enhanced glass elements such as roof lights and structurally glazed facades offer vital protection to both buildings and occupants, and help to achieve the aesthetic design required. These have proven popular on projects such as London Heathrow Terminal 4 and several projects at London Gatwick - where pressure plate and cap facades as well as bespoke structural glazing solutions have provided enhanced protection against blast threats. Crucially, these features help to maintain the architectural integrity of the building.

BIM & Collaborative Working

The final design - managing the complexities of this process and the construction programme requires a collaborative approach and clear communication throughout the supply chain.

The team here at Prater has been a keen advocate of BIM for several years. We have found it to be a real asset in assisting the required fluidity of an airside construction programme - detecting potential site issues at the earliest possible stage, as well as identifying potential clashes during the construction process. With round-the-clock work taking place to minimise disruption and shorten lead times, the use of 3D and 4D modeling can help to keep communication as transparent as possible, resulting in time savings on site.

Utilising Offsite

The recent Farmer Review suggested that offsite manufacturing would be crucial to the future of the construction industry. At Prater, utilising offsite facilities to construct components has proven particularly effective for airside projects, offering greater control over quality, timing, and health and safety. Offsite construction has also helped us to minimise disruption to busy airports, which may still be operational, as well as limiting health and safety risks.

Due to the complexity surrounding airport infrastructure developments, we are continually striving to design and develop new innovative approaches to be applied throughout the project process.

If contractors are ready and willing to embrace collaborative working and modern methods of construction to ensure continued success, these methods can help to provide buildings, which combine high performance with stunning aesthetics.”

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