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Atlanta Int’l Combines Modular and Traditional Build Methods for Concourse D Expansion


Out-of-Box Thinking

Rucker says ATL is fortunate to have creative minds on the project team that proposed using modular construction, but it wasn’t a decision the airport came to lightly. Leaders explored the idea extensively with the project architect and structural and mechanical engineers. A team also visited Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), which used modular construction for a four-gate expansion in 2022. “We came back fairly energized and said modular could be a component of the work,” Rucker recalls.

“We wanted to deliver the building at a faster rate than what we usually do on a traditional development, so that is when the business case for modular construction started to make sense,” Swaminathan explains.

Preliminary Negotiations

“Our main intent was to keep the existing building and existing operations as much as possible,” says Gopi Swaminathan, associate principal with project architect Corgan Aviation.

Elevating the Passenger Experience

Rucker and other ATL leaders see the Concourse D Expansion as a unique opportunity to elevate the passenger experience. To achieve that goal, Corgan and the design team used benchmarking studies of other airports to determine the size of facility needed to achieve the airport’s desired service level.

Swaminathan describes the architecture of the building as efficient, and the transition from the existing Concourse D to the modular units as seamless. There are some challenges with pairing the two buildings, but he notes that design adjustments are being made to ensure the existing building will look as good as the new one. The newly expanded Concourse D is also designed to be more energy efficient and code-compliant.


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