Tim Kempster, managing director, concludes his two-part look at airport security and the role of glazing systems.
The airport designer’s conundrum is how to build a facility able to safely handle large numbers of people. Plus, making their experience as hassle-free as possible.
Since 1996, the UK’s Department for Transport has published guidance in the form of Aviation Security in Airport Development (ASIAD).
The guidance covers many of an airport’s critical functions, from security checks on passengers to aircraft hold baggage. It also includes the location of car parks to the glazed elements in the building’s design.
The guidance also covers the design of areas immediately outside terminal buildings. This is to create an exclusion zone for unauthorised vehicles.
Stand-off distance is an important consideration. A bomb detonating at seven metres from the terminal façade can generate blast pressure of up to one ton per square foot.
But at 30 metres, blast pressure falls to one-tenth of a ton per square foot. That’s within building regulation parameters on structural integrity.
Modern building design, in airports as elsewhere, now makes extensive use of glass. It brings in ambient light and creates a more pleasant interior environment.
The extensive use of glass has come about as a result of investments in innovation. That includes both laminated glass types and framing systems.
At Wrightstyle, we have gone beyond computational assessment to also conduct live bomb testing. One test involved a simulated lorry bomb attack (500 kg of TNT-equivalent explosive).
It was detonated 75 metres from the test rig and was followed by a simulated car bomb attack on the same glazing system.
That used 100 kg of explosive and was detonated at a distance of 20 metres. Both tests were equally successful.
Our compatible systems, with the glass and steel framing systems tested together, are accredited to EU, US and Asia Pacific standards.
But our strong advice is to always specify the glass and framing as one unit. In a real fire or terrorist situation, the glass will only be as protective as its frame, and vice versa.
Both fire and terrorist attack are potent threats to be comprehensively guarded against. There must also be regular emergency rehearsals.
Our steel glazing systems therefore protect against terrorist attack, ballistic or bomb. They also provide up to 120 minutes of fire protection.
That’s come about because of investments in research and development. It’s the reason why Wrightstyle continues to supply to airports and other transport hubs internationally.
When it comes to our advanced systems, we are a trusted supplier of choice.
Photo: A recent project completion at Heathrow airport.