Improving Comfort for Passengers & Staff at London's Gatwick International Airport

Key Objectives

  • Improve HVAC efficiency
  • Increase and stabilise temperature throughout the ground floor
  • Improve comfort for the passengers and staff

The Challenge

High footfall through the ground floor lobby entrances at London Gatwick Airport meant the doors were frequently open and being left exposed to the external environment.  The 3.6m wide entrance has no internal doors. During the winter when the terminal concourse was being heated, the presence of a significant stack effect through the stairwell to the upper floors, escalated the thermal exchange of air throughout the space from the influx of cold air from the open doors.  This made it difficult to maintain the concourse temperature, especially during extreme winter conditions.

The Solution

Following our detailed site survey and measurement of a slight negative pressure, we proposed the installation of a Durashield air barrier system.  The air barrier was designed and manufactured to the exact door width and horizontally positioned across each of the two internal lobby door openings. Another feature is its design to create a seal by re-circulating the internal heated air across the open door.  This environmental separation between the external conditions and concourse reduces the ingress of external air and stabilises the internal temperature.  Our post installation temperature measurement shows up to a seven degree Celsius decrease in temperature within one minute of the air barrier being switched off.  The client now intends to improve their HVAC heating close to the entrances to further increase the temperature and improve comfort.

NB: An independent CFD (computerised fluid dynamic) report was commissioned by the client to help understand how more effective an air barrier system performs under set conditions when compared to alternative overdoor heated technologies.

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