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Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction can help Heathrow maximise the passenger experience and help to be highly efficient. There are research excellence and innovation strengths utilised in airside and terminal construction, maintenance and management at Heathrow including:

  • New materials and technologies that are being applied
  • Innovation in skills, and the interface between people and technology, needed to deliver the new infrastructure and estate maintenance to support future operations

That will make Heathrow and the underpinning UK system of businesses the home of Sustainable Airport innovation. 

Sustainability and raw materials

  • Materials replacement
  • Transport and sourcing of supply and future proofing

Sustainable Construction underpinning Operation and Expansion

  • Learning from case studies captured in the innovation portal
  • Efficient systems thinking ‘designing and building out’ future maintenance and operational risk

SMART environments – new innovations (links with Operational Efficiency theme)

  • Smart runways; on ground aircraft management
  • Role of air traffic management


  • Skills and specialist staff demands airside construction and maintenance
  • People-plant interface: Innovations in technology supporting operatives training to maximise delivery efficiency and effectiveness
  • Relationship to LHR geography, and the link between universities and local businesses


  • Compile comprehensive evidence on elements of local innovation ecosystem
  • Identify National and International Trends in sustainable construction
  • Consider local strengths (e.g. Assets, talent, capacities) in light of potential future global opportunities. Specifically:
    • Learning through continuous improvements activity at LHR
    • Use of highly-skilled teams to address specific critical challenges
    • Shared innovation and development across the LHR estate
    • Identify relevant National and International engagement
  • Quantify and appraise each of those future opportunities (being strategic)
  • Develop concrete ideas for those opportunities where we see greatest potential for innovation-led growth locally
  • Ensure structures in our ‘place’ to pursue follow-on work

This theme was led by Amanda Soundararaj and Morgan Sindall.

If you would like to get in touch about this topic please contact us.