Concourses B East & C East Expansion at Denver International Airport


Best Project

Submitted by: Holder Construction

Owner: Denver International Airport

Lead Design Firm/Civil/Structural/MEP: Jacobs

General Contractor: Holder—FCI, A Joint Venture

Fire Protection Engineer: Killebrew Killebrew Inc.

A more than $1-billion effort brought 10 gates and 12 hold rooms on the B-East side of Denver International Airport as well as 16 gates and 20 hold rooms on the C-East side.

The 767,000-sq-ft expansion also featured basements and two additional subcores with commercial concession and office space. Scope included all apron paving work required to park and service aircraft at the gates as well.

Both concourse expansions will use approximately 30% less energy than a typical airport building and are tracking for LEED Gold certification, thanks to sustainable measures such as artificial lighting reduction both inside and outside, exhaust and outdoor air energy recovery, a high efficiency central plant and a rooftop photovoltaic system.

With several other major projects going on at the same time across the Denver area, the project team realized early in the design phase that attracting and retaining enough trade labor to complete work would be challenging, especially with an extended duration and associated cost escalation risks. A coordinated effort between the design and construction team led to bid packages that allowed for a wider number of trades to bid, which also decreased the risk for any one individual firm in terms of material escalation.

Concourses B-East & C-East Expansion at Denver International Airport

Photo © Jeffrey Totaro, 2022

Further cost management strategies included breaking the project down into component GMPs, which managed the exposure of cost escalation between information sets. This helped not only the airport’s ability to receive cost information faster but also allowed the trades to isolate their scope within each package. Trade certainty entering into project bidding helped lower project costs.

An active outreach effort helped advertise the project to trade contractors, drawing in more bids and maximizing subcontractor participation in a busy market characterized by high cost escalation. The team surpassed the city and county of Denver’s 24% minority and women-owned business goal.

Across 5,361,223 work hours, and with more than 900 personnel on site daily, the project had zero shutdowns during the pandemic and achieved an on-time and within-budget finish in October 2022.