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Architecture/Marble flooring in airports runways.


QUESTION: Dear Richard

Is marble flooring allowed on Airports runways?.

If yes, will you recommend?.


ANSWER: Prashant,

Aside from financial limitations, the compressive strength of marble is between 4,000 psi and 10,000 psi.  Compare that to the standard compressive strength of a concrete runway which is no less than 3,000 psi.

The only other reason why I would have some reservation is with regards to the ability to acquire large monolithic slabs, 4 inches think, that will not have small slivers of marble coming loose.  Theoretically speaking if the surface of the marble were to spall off, then that would be a problem.  As you know, poorly installed concrete subject to freezing ice will spall into pieces that could get (theoretically) get bumped into the air and sucked into a jet engine.

Otherwise, I see nothing that would prohibit the use of marble.  I assume that the ground would first be compacted, then a concrete base would be poured and then the 4 inch thick marble panels would be set into place.  Those panels would need to be as large as possible to minimize the number of joints between panels.

This must be for a project located in Dubai.  Who else could afford a runway consisting of marble?

Richard Burton, AIA
Registered Architect

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Richard


From architecture point of view Would you like to provide inputs for enhancing airports runways model?.



Yes, I would be excited to work on any airport project because it would add something different to my portfolio.

Where is this located?

Richard Burton, AIA
Registered Architect
ICC Certified Plan Reviewer
NFPA Certified Fire Plan Examiner


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Richard Burton AIA


A combined total of 25 years experience with construction, architecture, and building code enforcement. Ask me about residential and commercial design. Ask me about design aesthetics, structural methods, and building something that will withstand severe weather conditions. Ask me my opinion about YOUR design ideas and I will tell you the merits of good design and challenge your thinking about practical issues. Ask me how to best find and work with your local architect and approach general contractors to get the most value for the least amount of headaches. You can ask me about improving your energy efficiency and things that are both green and practical. But don't ask me about solar panels and wind turbines unless you are currently paying your utility company 35 cents per Kilowatt. Otherwise the math does not justify the initial cost and return on investment. Ask me any building code question and how to get a building permit from the most difficult enforcement agencies.


Here in the midwest, we design and build "green" in ways that make sense. My construction methods prioritize weather resistance, ease of maintenance and durability. While a graduate student in San Diego, I taught drafting and history of architecture. After working ten years for other architecture firms, I have started my firm Arrow Architecture in 2008. More than half of my work involves commercial office buildings. But my portfolio of work also includes custom homes, residential additions, home remodels, and second story additions.

President-Elect of American Institute of Architects - Lincoln, NE

B.S. Architecture - (Interior Design) University of Nebraska Lincoln 1997 Master of Architecture - (Urban Design and Professional Practice) NewSchool of Architecture - San Diego 2004 Graduated Summa Cum Laude ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner

Awards and Honors
AIA Henry Adams Medal and Certificate

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