Without a doubt transportation hubs are one of the most challenging environments for any manufacturer. Whether you are supplying equipment or technology the numbers using the concourse are generally high and the demand 24/7. For example, at Heathrow 213,000 passengers land and depart every day! With this volume of traffic your product has to perform.
A myriad of services are required to operate a busy airport, from utilities to data cabling to drainage. If any of these services fail the consequences can be far reaching. In many airports the services are located beneath the floor. Quick and safe access is required for both routine maintenance and in the case of breakdowns. This is where the requirement for Howe Green floor access covers arises.
The flooring used in an airport or railway station certainly needs to be tough enough to withstand large numbers of people, luggage, wheeled trolleys and baggage carts – and so do the floor access covers.
Howe Green access covers were originally developed in 1983 to provide access to concealed services in Terrazzo flooring in another challenging sector – supermarkets. From the outset the covers were fabricated to provide a robust solution for a highly trafficked public area.
Over the last three decades Howe Green has been at the forefront of design and innovation in the specialised area of floor access. The original 750 Series access cover has evolved into the 7500 Series Medium-Duty Floor Access Cover and the range has been extended to include light-duty and heavy-duty covers, hinged access hatches, treadplates and access covers for wood and flexible flooring. Product development continues to be driven by customer requirements and the manufacture of bespoke floor access solutions is a daily occurrence.
Howe Green access covers have been specified for use in some of the busiest airports in the world. You will find the 1050 Series Heavy Duty Floor Access Covers in the Interchange Plaza at Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5). The Interchange Plaza is the area between the car park and the main terminal buildings. The 1050 Series was the perfect access cover for this external location. The cover offers a deeper capacity for thick floor finishes such as paving slabs and can accommodate up to a 6.5 tonne pneumatic tyre wheel load. At T5 the 1050 covers were infilled with Chinese granite paving.
Inside the main concourse building the 7500 Series Medium Duty Access Covers were specified. The 7500 Series is capable of withstanding high levels of pedestrian footfall and light vehicular traffic up to a 5 tonne pneumatic tyre wheel load. At T5 the 7500 Series were infilled with a hard floor conglomerate flooring.
Safety is a major consideration within any public environment. In a busy airport the risks are exacerbated by the sheer volume and nature of the traffic using the facilities. People hurrying, focused on where they need to be next; excited children running wild and luggage, lots of it, everywhere! It’s a chaotic scene just waiting for an accident to happen. Ensuring that the floor surface is as even as possible is one way to reduce the hazards.
Howe Green access covers are precision engineered and designed to fit perfectly flush with their surround to avoid distortion which helps to prevent any slips or trips. An essential feature for such a highly trafficked public area.
Airport security has never been tighter than it is today, however these tougher security checks are only one aspect of keeping an airport safe.
Keeping the infrastructure of the building secure in an environment that has such a high level of footfall is no mean feat. Howe Green floor access covers can be supplied with tamper resistant features, providing additional security and peace of mind.
Over the years we have seen increased investment by airports to enhance their facilities with the overall objective being to improve the passenger experience. Often the architects working on these high profile projects require a non-standard access solution. The production set up at Howe Green, combined with over 36 years of experience in resolving access issues, means that bespoke covers can be manufactured quite easily.
Howe Green supplied 250 bespoke access covers for Satellite One, Stansted airport as part of the £80 million refurbishment of international departure lounge. The mix of 2500 Series Wood Floor Access Covers and 5000 Series Light Duty Floor Access Covers were manufactured in stainless steel to a custom depth and incorporated an additional reinforcement of the baseplate. The reinforcement was required to accommodate specific site conditions and loading requirements.
Single and multipart covers were supplied. Multipart covers comprise a series of floor access covers set into one larger frame. The multipart cover can provide easy and safe access to more complex junctions of service utilities.
If you are passing through Stansted or Heathrow airports make sure you keep your eyes peeled for Howe Green floor access covers!
Want to find out more?
For more information about how you can easily and safely access concealed services in a challenging airport environment please call our friendly team on 01920 463 230, we are always happy to help.
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Howe Green Ltd
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- Howe Green Ltd +44 (0) 1920 463 230