Professional Engineering Consultants PA: Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
Automation, controls; electrical, power; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; energy, sustainability; plumbing, piping.
Engineering firm: Professional Engineering Consultants PA
2016 MEP Giants rank: 92
Project: Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
Location: Wichita, Kan.
Building type: Utilities/public works/transportation; airport
Project type: New construction
Engineering services: Automation, controls; electrical, power; HVAC, mechanical; lighting; energy, sustainability; plumbing, piping
Project timeline: September 2012 to June 2015
MEP/FP budget: Confidential
The last time Wichita celebrated a new airport was 1954, and it was past due for an upgrade. Renovating the existing building proved too expensive. Professional Engineering Consultants provided mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering services for the new terminal and terminal apron relocation to bring a world-class airport terminal to the city known as the "Air Capital of the World." One of the challenges for this project involved keeping the existing terminal and apron operational during construction. To address this, a new terminal was constructed adjacent to the old one. Other challenges included an existing remediation well that had to stay in use throughout construction as well as be rerouted, because the existing discharge line was located under the new terminal unit. The height of the existing air-traffic control tower set the maximum height for the new terminal building, which presented another challenge—a low floor-to-ceiling height in the lower level that housed the mechanical and electrical rooms.
Turning the Wichita Mid-Continent Airport into the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport required keeping airport operations functioning throughout the transition. During construction of the new terminal, a tunnel was constructed between the two buildings to allow utilities and communications to exist between the buildings. The phases were strategically planned to assure air traffic was not interrupted. The remediation well issue was addressed by piping the well water through the tunnel, then through a series of heat exchangers serving various uses such as air tempering, radiant cooling, snowmelt, and condenser-water supplemental cooling. This solution rerouted the line as needed, with the added benefit of heat recovery. To address the lower ceiling space, tight coordination between mechanical and electrical engineering, low-voltage electrical systems, structural engineering, and baggage handling assured the systems fit in the allotted, shorter space. Close collaboration with vendors during installation proved critical to resolve design differences quickly and keep the terminal's opening schedule on track.