Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Washington, DC

Increasing passenger comfort and energy efficiency have become primary success measurements for newly remodeled and expanded airport facilities. Syska Hennessy Group has successfully integrated these elements into the design of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Washington, DC.

The new North Terminal, the centerpiece of the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority's $1 billion Capital Development Program, has improved both service and customer convenience. Here, the Authority's main objectives were: 1) a comfortable, high air quality environment, and 2) an energy-efficient design. The 1M sq. ft. terminal building itself includes high ceilings, domes, skylights, and glass exterior walls, challenging our design team.

Occupancy in the terminal escalates from zero to hundreds within minutes, so adequate air distribution for passenger comfort became a critical issue. Air and noise pollution impacts were addressed early in the design process, and mitigated.

High ceilings and a high glass content increased the complexity of energy efficiency design measures for heating and cooling, however the design was successfully completed to meet BOCA energy guidelines. Conservation and efficiency was achieved through the use of energy-efficient double glazed glass, frits on the glass to reduce solar gain, light sensors that dim lights and variable speed drive fan motors for added conservation in areas where occupancy fluctuates.

The project is expected to generate several million dollars in energy cost savings through its life cycle. The pollution reductions achieved by the design will benefit not just the passengers and employees, but also will reduce illness and absenteeism in an environmentally conscious manner. The project is an example of how Syska uses state-of-the art engineering to provide cost-effective, technical-based solutions that improve the quality of life of all who pass through this airport.