San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 West Expansion
San Diego, CA

San Diego International Airport is the country’s busiest single runway airport and serves more than 18 million passengers annually. Situated in a prime location adjacent to Downtown San Diego, the Airport is a major fixture of the cityscape. The Airport needed to expand facilities to accommodate current and future operation needs to support travel in and out of San Diego. With limited real estate available for expansion and multiple stakeholders, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the Airport needed to carefully evaluate various options before finalizing any plans for expansion, renovation or relocation. After reviewing several options, the decision was made to expand Terminal 2.

As part of a joint-venture, design-build team with Turner Construction and PCL Construction, Syska Hennessy Group was awarded the contract to provide MEP engineering services, architectural lighting design and vertical transportation design services through design development services for the expansion. The project will provide 10 new gates, a dual-level roadway featuring smart curb technology, new dining and shopping facilities, and taxiway improvements.

The team evaluated several potential MEP design solutions to support the Airport’s LEED Silver goal, including displacement ventilation, solar photovoltaics, graywater recovery, and a ground-coupled geo-exchange system. Final design elements are being evaluated but current plans include solar photovoltaics, low-flow plumbing fixtures, air handling units with activated carbon and potassium permanganate filtration systems, and high-efficiency HVAC systems. The systems also provide several elements to support airport security, including HVAC systems to protect against chemical, biological and radiological attacks (CBRA).

As a design partner, Syska’s team is providing CFD modeling for concessions, energy modeling of the terminal expansion and completing all design documents in an integrated BIM environment using Revit MEP Suite 2010.

  • Revit model of mechanical system - north concourse
  • Mechanical Revit model - new concession atrium
  • Mechanical Revit model - new baggage claim area
  • Air Flow CFD analysis - concession concourse
  • Interior Concourse
Image courtesy of HNTB
  • Exterior // Image courtesy of HNTB


470,000 sf (approximate)


2014 Airports Going Green Award(First LEED Platinumn Airport In The World) - Chicago Department of Aviation
2014 Aviation Project of the Year - California Transportation Foundation
2014 Aviation, National Award of Merit - Design-Build Institute of America