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17 August 2018

HOK-Designed Building Will Ease Congestion at Sea-Tac Airport

The team’s use of virtual reality enabled the Port of Seattle to experience the new hardstand building before it was built, and to quickly understand how this design-build project will transform the airport’s Concourse D.

Excerpted from The Registry:

The hope is that Sea-Tac Hardstand project—a 32,400 square foot passenger facility scheduled to open for operation in October 2018—will allow the Port of Seattle to handle more passenger traffic throughout the concourse, according to Alan Bright, senior design principal out of the firm’s San Francisco office. “Sea-Tac is constantly growing, changing and adjusting, and this project was brought on board to allow [the airport] to flex gates and allow for more passengers to move in and out of the overall campus at Sea-Tac, and to allow for other construction to occur,” he said.

The design-build team includes The Walsh Group as the design-builder and HOK as the lead architect, along with Lund Opsahl LLC, Osborn Consulting, Inc., Hart Crowser, Casne Engineering and Notkin Mechanical Engineers.

The two-story, $24 million project is a hardstand building, meaning that no aircrafts are actually attached to the building. Instead, the project is a site where passengers will arrive and depart from while their planes wait at a hardstand site on the outdoor tarmac airfield—passengers will be shuttled between the hold room and the hardstand site.

Throughout the design process which was begun in March 2017 , the implementation of technology also allowed the design team at HOK to show its client—the Port of Seattle—how the space would ultimately function in relation to the rest of the facilities at Sea-Tac Airport, according to Ken Miller, associate at HOK. “When we were designing the project, rather than going through the traditional process of doing sketches, we were able to go through building these 3D models into the space to immediately understand how people would flow through from other parts of the airport to this new project,” he said.

More broadly, the design team’s implementation of technologies like virtual reality through the design process allowed a better understanding of how the hardstand project would evolve from its inception to completion, according to AJ Taaca, project designer with HOK. “As part of the design process, we integrated a lot of new technologies, using virtual reality as one of our design tools. We tested a lot of our design thinking and organization of the project…with that technology, we created a model where we were able to walk our clients through the actual space,” he said.

The Registry