HOK Uses Parametric 3D Modeling to Optimize Modernization Design of World’s Most-Traveled Airport
Engineering Georgia interviewed HOK’s Ripley Rasmus and Matt Breidenthal about the firm’s innovative approach to modernizing the domestic passenger terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
“Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport was designed in the 1970s with a project budget that left little room for high-quality architectural design, says Ripley Rasmus, a senior design principal at HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm leading the joint venture team for this project. Decades later, Rasmus and HOK are redefining the airport’s character with a 21st century design created to elevate the quality of today’s passenger experience.”
“‘We were challenged to create a new canopy and bring the existing architecture up to a modern level while maintaining usage throughout,’ says Rasmus, adding that quality, character and technology were dominant aspects throughout the design process.”
“Matt Breidenthal, LEED AP, HOK’s regional leader of engineering in Atlanta, says that rather than trying to minimize how much the new structure would touch the existing, simple pre-cast concrete terminal, they opted for laying the canopy directly on it. ‘That was the less expensive and intrusive alternative’ and it avoided having to erect 38 new columns and a lateral bracing set in front of the building and re-clad facade.’”
“Assisting HOK in successfully meeting its schedule for completion of the design was a proprietary multidisciplinary parametric design tool they developed.”
“The parametric 3D modeling software ‘automates a lot of logic that goes into the engineering and design process,’ says Breidenthal, by rapidly generating multiple solutions. ‘Rather than taking weeks to come back with three or four options to look at, we can have hundreds or thousands of options to look at in just a few days.’”
“If the team has comments on the design or if the form isn’t exactly as intended, it’s possible for these tools to evaluate several changes and come right back to it. ‘It really streamlines the process and allows us to do our magic,’” says Rasmus.”