UK school uses domes to silence airport noise

Noises off: London school uses earth domes to cope with relentless airport roar

Associated Press
UK school uses domes to silence airport noise
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School pupils aged 6 and 7 are read a story as they sit in an amphitheater area outside "The Big Adobe", an adobe dome built in the playground to shield the children from the noise of aircraft landing at nearby Heathrow Airport, at Hounslow Heath Infant and Nursery School in the Hounslow area of London, Thursday, April 25, 2013. The buildings, which were originally designed for earthquake and emergency zones in Asia and Africa, are constructed from coiled bags of earth with white plaster walls, reducing the noise from landing aircraft by 17 decibels for pupils inside. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

LONDON (AP) -- A school close to London's busy Heathrow Airport has found a novel way to protect its young students from the relentless roar of planes taking off and landing nearby.

The school has installed a series of sound-cancelling adobe domes outdoors so that its students, ages 3 to 7, can enjoy playtime and lessons outside without fearing damage to their ears.

The domes, constructed from coiled bags of earth, were originally designed for earthquake and emergency zones, but they've proved popular among the schoolchildren.

Hounslow Heath Infant and Nursery School head teacher Kathryn Harper-Quinn said Thursday that installing the domes has encouraged more outdoor activities at the school, which sees a plane flying just a few hundred feet above it every few minutes.

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