Breaking Ground with Sustainable Materials & Construction at Pittsburgh International Airport
Western Pennsylvania has long been a leader in innovation and technology, and Pittsburgh’s new airport terminal will continue to expound on this rich heritage. In October, Pittsburgh International Airport broke ground on its Terminal Modernization Program (TMP), an ambitious project that will modify and improve current facilities. Designed and constructed with a focus on public health and reducing environmental impacts, the TMP is the first airport terminal set to be built from the ground up post-pandemic.
The $1.4 billion, 700,000 square-foot project is one of the largest infrastructure developments in the history of the area, improving the current airport which opened in 1992 as a hub for now defunct US Airways. The new Pittsburgh International Airport will be built for and by Pittsburgh, with a large focus on technology, sustainability and innovation, finally giving the region the airport it deserves – one that is reflective of the thriving, modern Pittsburgh that the region is today.
Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects designed the new terminal, while Michael Baker International leads the design team for the multi-modal complex that includes a new 3,300 space parking garage, rental car customer service building, new close-in surface parking lots and access roadways. Turner Construction and PJ Dick/Hunt handle construction management, and evolveEA serves as sustainability consultant on the project.
The design vision for the airport comes from the convergence of nature, technology and community, or NaTeCo. The new terminal features technological improvements and more automated systems, indoor and outdoor green plazas available before and after security, a rarity for U.S. airports, and other enhancements that emphasize passenger and employee health and wellbeing. Pittsburgh International Airport is also the country’s first major airport to be completely powered by an on-site solar and natural gas microgrid, making it one of the most resilient in the world.
The microgrid is one of the many “green” features showcased in the TMP. The design is currently on track to receive LEED Silver certification for the new terminal and LEED certification for the multi-modal complex, with the 3,300-space parking garage also seeking Parksmart certification. In fact, sustainable design has been incorporated throughout the project, beginning in the design phases and carrying through construction.
As crews prepared the terminal site for construction, workers utilized impact rollers and concrete crushers to convert large concrete sections into smaller aggregate that will be used as subbase for new roads at the project site and sub-slab under the foundation.
Concrete Crushing & Re-Use Process
The collaboration of the community in designing and constructing the new Pittsburgh International Airport, as well as using local materials, creates a facility built for and by Pittsburgh, and one the city can be proud of for decades to come.