San Luis Obispo County Airport Terminal
San Luis Obispo, Calif.   
Best Project

Owner: County of San Luis Obispo Dept. of Airports
Lead Design Firm/Civil/Structural Engineer: RS&H Inc.
General Contractor: Q&D Construction
MEP Engineer: Brummel, Myrick & Associates

The new 56,000-sq-ft terminal at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport is five times larger than the facility it replaced. The project added separate ticketing and baggage claim areas and glass-sided passenger boarding bridges.

The bridges, called jetways, were designed with input from the local fire and building departments. The complex, high-profile project stayed on time and on budget, thanks in part to the International Partnering Institute method, which brings design and construction teams together throughout the life of the project. The team finished the project a month early despite extreme rains, an earthwork change and a redesign of the facilities for an additional airline. “The team never gave up,” says SLO airport director Kevin Bumen.

The team also found artistic opportunities on a trip to Los Angeles to look at scrap parts in an aviation boneyard. A 747 cowling (the cover on an airplane’s engine) was transformed into the terminal’s information desk. A set of airplane tails was installed in the facility to look as though they are resting against the wall. The ticket counter increased in scope with the design of modular millwork that made room for more positions and future growth. The design also includes an open-air connection area that is secure but allows travelers to go outside.

“Maintaining the project schedule while dealing with a redesign during construction is a significant challenge to overcome,” one judge said. “Excellent team collaboration is evident in this project.”

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