Modular Building Institute

Denver International Concourse A Commuter Expansion

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Main Category:
Modular Building Design
Ramtech Building Systems, Inc.
Denver, CO
Building Use:
Expansion of Airport Terminal
Gross Size of Project:
38920 Square Feet
Days to complete:

Award Criteria

  1. Architectural Excellence
    Ramtech partnered with Wong Strauch Architects and Hensel Phelps on this project to create a 6-gate airport terminal extension that would tie in aesthetically with Denver International’s Concourse A. Specifically, this meant creating an industrial but clean exterior look with large windows and white and gray ribbed metal siding to complement the sculpted canopy design of DIA. Using open web steel trusses, and both perimeter structural and sub-floor shear walls, Ramtech’s design team was able to deliver interior clear spans of 52 feet over a length of more than 550 feet, while adhering to Denver’s demanding seismic and wind load requirements. This allowed for FAA compliant passenger gate waiting areas, a 20-foot-wide continuous walkway, and space for high-stooled charging workstations. Suspended acoustical ceilings, furniture, fixtures and equipment, a full airport security system with signage, jetways, and exterior canopies and ramps were installed onsite by Hensel Phelps.
  2. Technical Innovation & Sustainability
    A traditional Type II modular building system with concrete plank floors was used for the project, combining 52-foot modules with 28-foot modules that were oriented back-to-back for prompt installation, a critical aspect given the ongoing traffic at the existing Concourse A. To further minimize the disruption of plane operations, a proprietary stacked CMU pier foundation was bonded to the existing tarmac. Though achieving LEED status was not within the project’s budget, features such as low emissivity tinted windows, metal siding with high recycled content and two layers of 3.5” R-41 polyisocyanurate roof insulation allowed the building to exceed Denver’s stringent energy codes.
  3. Cost Effectiveness
    Given the need to limit impact on airport operations and avoid costly onsite labor, the key driver in DIA’s decision to work with Ramtech was the ability to shift work offsite and condense the construction schedule. Due to the aforementioned building design and Ramtech’s project management expertise, all 65 modules were installed and weathered-in concurrent with the completion of onsite prep-work, thus allowing for limited overlap of expensive subcontractors. In addition, Ramtech’s fully screened, drug-free employees were able to gain access to the facility and complete their work in an efficient manner, an often-overlooked factor that becomes increasingly difficult when adhering to the strict security requirements of both the FAA and the Department of Homeland Security. In total, almost 40,000 SF of additional terminal space was added to the concourse in 180 days, without a single day of interrupted flight scheduling or general airport operations.
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