AIRPORT DESIGN Last modified on February 26, 2010

Project watch - Sacramento International Airport

New Central Terminal B set to open in 2011 as part of the gateway’s $1.1 billion upgrade.

Sacramento International Airport’s ongoing $1.1 billion modernisation programme dubbed ‘The Big Build’ has celebrated the topping out of the gateway’s new Central Terminal B and airside concourse.

Covering an area of 670,000 square feet, the new facilities – designed by Corgan Associates, in association with Fentress Architects – will be more than three times the size of the existing Terminal B.

The Big Build is the largest public construction capital improvement project ever undertaken at the Californian gateway.

“This project is beneficial for our regional economy now and into the future,” says interim Sacramento County executive, Steven Szalay. “The Big Build has created approximately 2,400 new jobs and generated nearly $948 million in wages for the Sacramento region. The project is a boon to the local economy while positioning Sacramento International Airport for future smart growth and job attraction.”

“This is a major milestone for the Big Build project,” enthuses airport director, G Hardy Acree. “We are extremely pleased at the progress we’ve made, and we are thankful to all of our project partners for helping us reach this point.”

The key projects of the gateway’s billion-dollar makeover include a new central terminal, new 19-gate airside concourse, new international arrivals facilities, new passenger security checkpoints, state-of-the-art in-line baggage screening system and more than 42,000-squarefeet of concessions.

An elevated, automated people mover system will connect the concourse to the terminal. The project will replace the airport's aging 40-year-old Terminal B to meet the rising demand for passenger services and improve the airport's ability to attract new carriers and routes.

The new central terminal complex will offer 19 gates at opening – six more than the existing Terminal B – and is designed to accommodate an estimated 10 million passengers annually.

Upon completion, the airport will be capable of accommodating approximately 16mppa, which is expected to be sufficient until at least 2030.

According to the architects, the new terminal will feel bright and airy, with “abundant natural daylight” entering through clerestories and expansive glass curtain-walls. Clerestories also run the length of the airside concourse, maximising daylight and reducing energy use.

Sustainable features include solar shading devices integrated in the curtain-wall, low-E glass to minimise heat gain; use of recycled materials in building structure, floor and ceiling finishes; lowflow fixtures throughout and natural ventilation when possible. Together, the County of Sacramento, Sacramento County Airport System and design and construction teams are pursuing LEED®Silver for the Central Terminal B and airside concourse, which would establish the entire team as pioneers in sustainable building.

G Hardy Acree is confident that the new Central Terminal B will be a world-class facility that matches the airport’s status as the capital city of the state of California and gateway for the Central Valley region.

The architects certainly believe that they have captured the area’s rich history and culture to create a unique sense of place that represents Sacramento.

The vaulted three-story glass-walled structure offers panoramic views on three sides, including toward downtown and the mountains. Inside, the crossing structural members overhead create a dynamic rhythm of light and shadow, an effect inspired by Sacramento’s lush tree-lined streets.

Easy wayfinding is created with unobstructed views across the ticketing hall, a visual connection to the central circulation spine and ample views to the outdoors.

Big Build construction broke ground on June 19, 2008 and is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2011.


Sacramento, USA

Important developments:
New Central Terminal B and airside concourse.

Scheduled completion:

Principal companies involved:
Corgan Associates, Fentress Bradburn

Total investment:
$1.1 billion

Airport World 2010 - Issue 1

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