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Architecture/Marble flooring in airports runways.


QUESTION: Dear Brendan

Is marble flooring allowed on Airports runways?.

If yes, will you recommend?.


ANSWER: Hi Prashant,
I would imagine that marble would be too smooth, shiny and slippery to work as a suitable surface for a runway? There are strict grip ratings for the runway surfaces, and normally tarmacadam or asphalt of some kind would by the material of choice. This would be a grippy surface with no reflective issues, and can accommodate rain on the surface much more safely.

I would imagine that marble might not have the strength, especially when it comes to repeated impacts of jets of upto 300 tonnes. Marble might have impressive compressive strength, but the impacts and moving forces might be too much. As a natural material it will have imperfections and faults, and engineering works to allow for them would add to the cost and complexity.

Marble would also be a very expensive material I would imagine, as a relatively short airport runway may be 1000m long and 20m wide, or 20,000sqm. Thats a lot of marble.... The marble might be cut or treated to overcome some of these issues, but that would only add to the cost.

The benefit I can think of though, is that it may be a very attractive material, one that in some areas with no impact may last decades or even centuries without needing to be replaced.

Hope this all helps?
Thanks for your question

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

QUESTION: Dear Brendan


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


Hi Prashant,
I'll be honest with you and say that I have never considered the issue, I've always thought of airports from the perspective of the terminals. Putting aside the standards issue, there must be a better way of designing airports and runways, though up until now the conventional method seems to be the most cost effective.

I have driven under Charles De Gaulle airport runway which was impressive as a motorway runs under the main runways. I know that there was a recent Scandinavian design exercise to re-examine urban airports, with the runways on top of buildings, and of course Le Corbusier did once propose an airport amongst the centre skyscrapers of Paris, not to mention Foster's Chek Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong.

Maybe one of these examples can help inspire you?
Hope this helps



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Brendan Cotter


Domestic extensions, planning permissions, house renovations, using solar power, renovation, adding value to a property, getting a house that the client wants


Im a graduate architect, with a Bachelor of Architecture from DIT, Ireland. I have a number of years of experience as both a design architect and a site architect, and have brought domestic projects through from initial client meetings through planning to construction and to completion and handover

Bachelor of Architecture, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland

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