Ecobarrier wins 750,000 euro prize in design competition to find a runway noise-reduction solution at Schiphol
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol's 'Create a Barrier of Silence'
Mon 26 Jan 2009 – A design called the Ecobarrier has won an international competition held by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to find an innovative noise-reduction facility for its Runway 18R-36L. The airport had invited educational institutions, private individuals, design agencies and businesses to present a solution to a ground noise problem suffered by residents in nearby Hoofddorp-Noord caused by aircraft taking off from the runway. The ‘Create a Barrier of Silence’ competition attracted 97 entries from 17 countries, including China, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and several European countries.
The winning project, submitted by Toine van Goethem in the universities and private individuals category, achieved the highest score in terms of sustainability, innovation and noise reduction. The ‘Dobber’, by Brandes en Meurs, won the design agencies category and the business category award went to a design called ‘Elevation’ by Arup, Dura Vermeer and ONL. The Ecobarrier has earned its designer a cash prize of €750,000 $970,000) – €250,000 ($323,000) as category winner and €500,000 ($647,000) for the overall winning design – with the other two category winners picking up €250,000 each.
The aim of the project is to achieve a reduction in ground noise by at least seven decibels.
“The attractions of the Ecobarrier include its simplicity and its innovative and dynamic character,” said Jos Nijhuis, President of the Schiphol Group and chairman of the jury selecting the winning designs. “On top of that, the Ecobarrier contains several sustainability features, including algae cultivation and bio-fermentation, and fits well into the landscape.”
The airport says building preparation work can begin once the zoning scheme has been approved and statutory design tests have been performed by the air traffic control authorities.
The 18R-36L runway, named Polderbaan, is the airport’s longest runway at 3,800m and also the newest since becoming operational in 2003. With more than 100,000 take-offs and landings each year, the runway is the most intensively used of the airport’s five main runways.
Ground noise is defined as low-frequency noise that is generated by aircraft during landing and take-off.