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Government Kansas City, MO

Kansas City International Airport Terminal & Parking

U.S. Engineering Construction, Metalworks and Service teamed up on the design-build mechanical portion of the new 1-million-square-foot terminal at KCI.


Kansas City Aviation Department


Clark, Weitz, Clarkson Joint Venture


1,062,000 sq ft

U.S. Engineering Construction helmed the design-build mechanical duties on the largest single infrastructure project in Kansas City’s history: Kansas City International Airport’s new terminal and parking structure. Starting with 39 gates, with the ability to expand to 50, the project occupies over 1 million square feet.

The new terminal is heated and cooled by 31 main air handling units (AHUs) that distribute air throughout. Ventilation air is brought in through dedicated energy recovery units that add to the project’s LEED Gold certification. Over 430 VAV terminal units serve individual spaces to keep passengers comfortable.

Piping system stats:

  • 25,000 ft of cooling water piping
  • 37,000 ft of heating water piping
  • 49,000 ft of water piping for sinks, toilets, and other plumbing fixtures
  • 859,000 lbs of sheet metal used on this project

The Central Heating and Cooling plant houses four 800-ton chillers in a series-counterflow arrangement for increased energy efficiency. The cooling towers include plume abatement technology to minimize plume during airport operations. The heating plant is completely electric, enhancing sustainability efforts.

U.S. Engineering Metalworks‘ manufacturing facility was utilized to prefabricate piping racks throughout the facility. Our manufacturing teams prefabricated modular toilet units and delivered them onto site with complete in-wall assemblies. Many of the large restrooms include 20+ individual toilet stalls, a significant improvement over the old KCI terminal.

Early in the project, our teams installed about 1 mile of new underground jet fuel piping to serve the new terminal and temporarily serve the two existing terminals. They installed much of the fuel piping using directional boring, while they had several hundred feet of open cut ditch. Several stopple locations were performed on night shift (in the bitter cold!) to tie into existing fuel piping, all while keeping the two older terminals operational.

The Phase-2 jet fuel project took place after most of the new terminal structure was complete. Prior to and during the airfield pavement process, U.S. Engineering teams installed the underground fuel mains around the entire terminal. The installation of 40-plus hydrant pits served each gate for fueling planes.

“I’m most proud that our team remained on time and on budget throughout the entire project. I don’t know that I’ve ever been a part of a higher-functioning team than when I was a part of the KCI project,” noted Adam Provost, Senior Project Manager on the KCI project. “From top to bottom, the level of skill and professionalism by all team members, but most certainly the field team members and field leadership team was second to none. You can just feel it when you walk onto a job site and there is good teamwork and chemistry.”

Site Superintendent Greg Edwards goes on to say, “This was a very difficult job to get done and a very difficult schedule to keep up with. The fact that the beginning of this project was at the beginning of the pandemic added obstacles, with our project management completely remote and communicating through Teams. The only people on site were superintendents, foremen, and workers. Thank you to our project management, all field leadership, field team, virtual construction, Metalworks, and U.S. Engineering Service’s start up Test and Balance for their many contributions to this build.”

*header image rendering from BuildKCI

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