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Article Date: 5th August 2019

Selectaglaze - “This is your Captain Speaking” – Can You Hear Me?

Stansted Airport - Secondary Glazing - Horizontal Sliders - Casement Door

Selectaglaze - Stansted Airport College

A brand-new College sitting at the end of Stansted Airport runway opened its doors for its first intake of students in September 2018. Stansted Airport College, part of Harlow College, was a few years in the making. A relationship was established with Manchester Airport Group over 5 years to acquire the acre of land and get their buy-in for the proposed college. Funds were generated via a joint venture to build the college; two separate £3.5million grants from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) Local Growth Fund and Essex County Council, as well as a £300,000 grant by Uttlesford District Council and a £50,000 funding contribution from the Savoy Trust.

Stansted Airport College is the first on-site education facility at any major UK airport, designed by Pascall+Watson and built by Willmott Dixon. Courses on offer for the students include; aviation operations and cabin crew, engineering and aircraft maintenance, hospitality and events management, pre-apprenticeships, apprenticeships and work transition courses.

London Stansted Airport is the third busiest airport in London, carrying 25 million passengers a year to more than 190 destinations in 40 countries around the world. With only one runway serving all take off and landings, and the college’s location not far from the end of it, noise was a big concern for those using the facility. Acoustic consultant Cole Jarman Associates was employed to make recommendations, to create a quiet and comfortable learning environment. A Boeing 737 (one nautical mile high) before landing, can generate sounds levels in the region of 90-100dB. The WHO (Word Health Organisation) recommends suitable classroom noise levels to be: 35-40dB, so a significant reduction was needed. As it was a new build, high performance primary double glazing was installed, but it was unable to meet the acoustic requirements on its own.

Selectaglaze - Stansted Airport CollegeSelectaglaze was approached to help provide a solution with secondary glazing. It is the most effective method of acoustic insulation for windows in extremely noisy areas. Although generally used in Listed buildings, they can also provide much needed additional performance for new builds in areas of high traffic or near major transportation hubs. Acoustic tests have revealed that Selectaglaze secondary glazing can provide a 45dB reduction if set 200mm from a single glazed primary window with 6mm glass. Based on this, if used in conjunction with high performance primary windows, then the dB rating requirements would be met.

Selectaglaze went onto install 32 units across the site with their Series 10 - 2 and 3 pane horizontal sliders and a Series 41 casement door. All were installed with a cavity of 200mm and tightly sealed.

Karen Spencer, Principal of Stansted Airport College, said: “It is an amazing place to work, with state-of-the-art facilities for the students. Every day they have a clear line of sight to the workplace – a real incentive for completing their courses and going on to careers at London Stansted airport. As for the building, it is hard to believe that we are at the end of the runway, as it is so quiet inside the building. Often, the only giveaway that an aircraft is taking off is the amazing panoramic view out of the windows.”

Selectaglaze - Stansted Airport CollegeNot only have the staff and students already seen the enormous acoustic benefit of the secondary glazing, but they should also gain from thermal insulation it offers and the added security. The noise emanating from planes has been silenced, creating a quiet and conducive space for concentration required for teaching and studying.

Established in 1966 and Royal Warrant Holder since 2004, Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working on many building types, from new build to Grade I Listed buildings.

It boasts a wealth of understanding and a range of extensive products to suit all projects from Listed properties to new builds. The company offers a wide range of tested products. A free technical advisory service is offered and RIBA approved CPDs are available to architects and designers.

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