Seeking to replace the amalgam of leaky, cramped corridors that comprised the more than 80-year-old LaGuardia airport, the Port Authority launched a multibillion-dollar overhaul of the timeworn facility. January 2022 marked the substantial completion of the new $4 billion dollar Terminal B, which earned international acclaim, including the 2021 Prix Versailles as the best new airport terminal in the world.
As part of this undertaking, LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) reached out to Hoffmann Architects + Engineers for expert building enclosure consultation. Hoffmann provided post-construction analysis of the roof and facade assemblies of the Headhouse, the main body of the new Terminal B, as well as building envelope quality assurance support during construction for Concourse A West and for the pedestrian sky bridge connecting Concourse A and the Headhouse.
The concourse, with a 50,000-sf footprint, and the 23,000-sf pedestrian bridge and 850,000-sf Headhouse are all clad in a combination of metal panel rainscreens with glazed curtainwall systems, capped by low-slope metal roof assemblies.
With project goals that included streamlined operations, an adaptable terminal framework, intuitive passenger experience, and a sustainable and resilient design, the terminal redevelopment demanded attention to not only the immediate needs of a high-traffic airport in continuous operation, but also the long-term objectives of operational efficiency, high performance, and an environmentally conscious modern aesthetic.
As the building enclosure consultant, Hoffmann collaborated with the design-build team, Skanska Walsh Joint Venture (SWJV), and with HOK and WSP as the design joint venture. At the Headhouse, Hoffmann advised LGP on corrective action and undertook an analysis of facade and roof systems that included review of design and installation documentation, structural design peer review, and on-site investigations. For Terminal B and the pedestrian bridge, Hoffmann’s design professionals evaluated air and vapor barrier integration, roof wind uplift resistance, metal panel system attachment, and other building enclosure details to determine their conformance with industry best practices, energy codes, and structural requirements. Our architects and engineers observed in-situ testing of the curtainwall and metal panel enclosure systems, and reported on the outcomes of performance testing, including air leakage, water penetration, and field pressure chamber tests, as well as roof electronic leak detection surveys. Our design professionals also provided feedback on conditions at the interfaces between enclosure assemblies to establish a continuous, weathertight exterior envelope.
Throughout construction, Hoffmann performed site visits to evaluate the quality of work and assess compliance with contract documents and the basis of design. Our team established efficient quality assurance/quality control processes with consistent communication and streamlined tracking of non-conforming work to enable prompt resolution of deficiencies. Additionally, Hoffmann coordinated with the project’s commissioning agent in pursuit of LEED credits for Building Enclosure Commissioning.
With Hoffmann’s specialized expertise in enclosure systems and building envelope detailing, the new LaGuardia airport terminal is as high-performance as it is eye-catching. Travelers experience an efficient and pleasant journey, while benefitting from the unseen – but crucial – construction details that make the atmosphere of the new terminal a comfortable one.