The US$215 million Portland International Airport expansion project

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The Portland International Airport (PDX) is a US$215 million project that has been ongoing for five years. It is the first major upgrade the airport has had in almost twenty years and was initiated to balance passenger and infrastructure demands on the north and south sides of the terminal. The expansion involved a 253-meter extension of Concourse E, adding 12,727 square meters. This accommodates for an additional seven contact gates and two ground-loading gates. The extension aligns with the Port of Portland’s “Uniquely PDX” brand. It incorporates diverse food/beverage and retail options, restrooms, airline operations spaces, and support areas. This phase of the project has already been completed.

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The project designers

The expansion was designed by Hennebery Eddy and Fentress Architects who put in full height glazing to the north and aerial art installations break the concourse’s length. Moreover, there is a universal design that fosters for social equity of all users. Other features include diverse permanent and rotating art installations. Along with amenities such as moving walkways and a lactation room, cater to various needs. Scenic views of Mount Hood, the sky, and the Columbia River further enhance the connection to nature. A 30-foot rhythm of folded, clear span steel beams forms the roof, accommodating clerestory windows along the concourse’s length. This design anticipates future changes, such as aircraft size variations or advancements in boarding processes.

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The Portland International Airport expansion main terminal

The last phase of the expansion is expected to be finished in May this year. This phase focused on the main terminal. This area is designed to imitate a walk in the forest with a wooden roof, live trees, and overhead skylights. Notably, 95 percent of the steel used in the new roof comes from within 25 miles. Additionally, all the wood comes from within 300 miles of the airport, primarily from small family farms, tribal lands and sustainably managed forests.

Design of the New Portland International Airport Main Terminal

Two new security checkpoints are also included in the new main terminal along with airline ticket counters and the return of the concourse connector which are hallways that connect the two wings of the airport post-security. Restaurants include Grassa, Pilot House Distilling, Sizzle Pie and the return of Blue Star donuts. Travelers won’t have to spend more than they would outside the airport due to the airport’s “street pricing” policy.

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Energy saving at the airport

The project earned LEED Gold certification through strategies such as extensive daylighting. Additionally, the use of recycled materials, and remediation of contaminated soils. Energy conservation measures result in a 22 percent reduction, 719,600 kilowatt hours (kwh), in predicted energy consumption. This equivalent to 557 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.