Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport
  • investment project £1 billion
  • increase to Terminal 2 size 150%
  • m2 floor area increase 81,000

A kitchen ductwork fire in December 1997 at Heathrow Airport thankfully caused no loss of life or injury. It did lead BAA to undertake a technical review. In keeping with its status as the world‘s premier airport operator BAA took its responsibility for safety very seriously. It was vital that Heathrow‘s 60 million annual passengers and 57,000 staff could operate in a safe and secure environment.

Project Brief

Following a technical review led by BAA, Exyte Hargreaves was appointed to manufacture and install the new fire rated kitchen extract ventilation system at Heathrow Airport. The logistics of the refit were remarkable. At the time, Heathrow handled an average of 160,000 passengers per day. Retail concessions needed to minimise out-of-service time to safeguard peak revenues.

The tight on-site programme was aided by use of HFD/KE ducts which can be installed in a single process. Factory fitted insulation in the double skin armoured duct is protected from site damage and contamination.

Replacing Existing Kitchen Extract

All uninsulated single skin kitchen extract ductwork was removed and replaced by the fully tested Hargreaves HFD/KE 100 kitchen extract fire rated ducts. The HFD/KE is just one of a full range of special ductwork constructions developed to meet different fire engineering needs. It was designed for speed and ease of installation.

Good housekeeping was vital. The Hargreaves system has ports at 1.5 metre centres for inspection and cleaning so that grease build-up can be monitored and prevented. This supports a decreased risk of fire.

Meeting Fire Safety Criteria

Completed: 2003 | Project Value: £200,000

Tested to meet the fire requirements of BS476 Part 24 1987 the HFD ducts maintain stability and integrity for four hours and insulation needs for one hour. The ductwork also met the special criteria for fire extract systems that at least 80% of cross-sectional area is kept during an in-duct fire. Extract efficiency is therefore not impaired. The laboratory tests included not just the ductwork but the specially developed support systems that prevent collapse at high temperature.



"Close collaboration between all contractors ensured a fast refit so the outlets could resume trading quickly."

Ryan Gorman

Operations & Business Development Director


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