Off-site construction to play major role in Heathrow expansion

A picture of an airport. Off-site construction will play a major role in the expansion of Heathrow Airport

Off-site construction will play a major role in the expansion of Heathrow Airport

OFF-SITE construction will play a major part in the £17.6bn expansion of Heathrow Airport, it has been reported.

Building magazine reports that it is planned to reduce the workforce needed by almost a third to under 10,000 a day by using off-site construction.

According to Building, Heathrow had estimated it would need as many as 14,000 workers a day to build the new 3.5km runway and multiple terminal buildings.

But Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow expansion programme director, told Building that the airport was working closely with its design and consultant teams – including architect Grimshaw and advisers Mace, Turner & Townsend, CH2M and Arup – to slash the number of workers needed.

‘We want to do a lot of the work off-site’

He told Building: “We want to do a lot of the work off-site […] To go above 10,000 operatives will get more difficult. We want the local community to support it.”

Mr Wilbraham told Building that early contractor involvement was crucial to making the off-site approach work, with Heathrow planning to consult with contractors this year ahead of more formal engagement work with builders in 2018.

As part of the off-site process, Heathrow is planning to build four logistics hubs across the UK which will manufacture or collect components for transportation to the airport by rail.

SCS Group is very familiar with off-site construction having used it for several projects, so knows how it can save time and money.

Off-the-shelf product chosen by SCS

SCS Group’s involvement in off-site production has been with the Fläkt Woods Smoke Shaft Vent system – an off-the-shelf product that cuts time and costs.

The company opted to use this system at a stunning boutique hotel development in London due to both time and space constraints. SCS staff knew they needed a smoke shaft system that could be installed quickly and simply and the Fläkt Woods Smoke Shaft Vent system was the perfect choice for the development – the Courthouse Hotel in Shoreditch.

Chris Connolly, Contracts Manager, said: “This system meant better time management with few people on site. It meant off-site prefabrication with it put together in the Fläkt Woods factory. Once it arrived on site, set-up was so easy – we installed the system components on site, plugged the ASi controller into each to give them an ID, then accessed the HMI touchscreen to find the system already up and running. Easiest commissioning ever.”

For the full Heathrow story click here.

To read the full story about SCS Group using the Fläkt Woods Smoke Shaft Vent system, click here.