IAH Terminal C
Owner: United Airlines
Lead Design Firm: PGAL Architects
General Contractor: Manhattan Construction Co.
Electrical/Lighting: Walker Engineering Inc.
Subcontractors: CH Rigging Services Inc.; EAS Contracting; Electric Power Systems; Firetron Inc.; Gonzalez Commercial Electric; Hicks Lightning Protection; Holes Inc.; Lone Star Firestop LLC; MEI Rigging and Crating; Penhall Co.; Ursin’s Energy Efficient Lighting LLC
Airport security screenings and safety considerations for an active runway posed challenges in the construction of the 265,000-sq-ft addition of Terminal C at Bush International Airport in Houston.
Construction teams were subject to TSA security requirements and screenings that became more intensive as the project neared completion. At first, TSA designated certain areas for the teams to enter and exit, and there were multiple security screening processes. Later, additional requirements, including tool limitations, took effect, and jobsite access was reduced to a single entrance.
Because construction took place near an active runway, requirements included specific cleanup procedures. Lunches were closely monitored and limited to specific spaces to prevent food waste from staying on the runways and attracting birds, which could pose hazards to the airplanes. Drivers delivering materials had to undergo a unique background check and security clearance.
LED lighting installations in the main lobbies presented a considerable challenge because of the terminal’s terrazzo flooring, which had specific curing requirements and weight limitations. The flooring took 20 days to cure and could not support significant weight. Walker Engineering used larger lifts to distribute the weight needed to reach the ceilings and installed the lighting in stages to coordinate with crews laying the flooring.