- Specially designed eco-friendly building installed for outdoor learning in Hounslow’s St Michael and St Martin Catholic Primary
- First of five to be installed in local schools this year
- Part of £1.8 million investment by Heathrow for 21 adobe buildings in local schools
Heathrow representatives and Councillor Myra Savin, Deputy Mayor of Hounslow, joined St. Michael and St. Martin Catholic Primary faculty and students for the official opening of their new adobe building today. Heathrow is the only airport in the world to support schools with adobe buildings, which provide outdoor learning space free from noise from overhead aircraft.
This is the eighth adobe building funded and installed by Heathrow in local schools since the programme started in 2013. The seven other school recipients of adobe buildings report they are a huge success with students. Another four adobe buildings are expected to be built later this year. Ultimately, Heathrow has committed to invest almost £1.8 million in 21 adobe buildings.
Built from long tubes of soil, the eco-friendly, innovative design and shape of adobe buildings provide significant respite from noise for pupils inside, while still ensuring an airy, light atmosphere, and retaining a feeling of being outside. The buildings were originally designed as a human settlement for the Moon and Mars by a Californian architect.
Matt Gorman, Heathrow Director of Sustainability and Environment said:
“We know noise can be a challenge for outdoor learning and that we must act to reduce our impact on local communities. Our innovative adobe buildings are not only effective in reducing noise but they also are proving to be a popular feature in local schools for both pupils and teachers alike. We are happy to support our local school partners and will continue to work with them to ensure the airport becomes a better, quieter neighbour.”
Councillor Myra Savin, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council, said:
“It was lovely to meet the children and staff at St Michael and St Martin Catholic Primary School and be associated with this fantastic project. I am sure that the children and staff will benefit greatly from the adobe buildings and enjoy outdoor learning.”
Jared Bell, teacher at St. Michael and St. Martin Catholic Primary School said:
"We are extremely grateful to Heathrow who have funded this project and to Small Earth for the professional construction of this new development. We are excited about the benefits the building will provide and the wide range of diverse learning experiences it will create for our children. It will unleash a complete new learning environment with the benefits of teaching in a space which is eco-friendly and free from aircraft noise."
Adobe buildings complement the noise insulation Heathrow has already provided for 42 community buildings and schools since 2005. Through the Community Building Noise Insulation Scheme, Heathrow has contributed more than £4.8 million to make noise-insulating modifications such as double-glazing, replacement windows.