NASCC 2017

Night School


Mineta International Airport Terminal B and Concourse Wins National Architecture and Engineering Award

August 2, 2011 from American Institute of Steel Construction

(Chicago, IL) – The new concourse and Terminal B project at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) in San Jose, Calif. has earned national recognition in the 2011 Innovative Design in Engineering and Architecture with Structural Steel awards program (IDEAS2). In honor of this achievement, members of the project team will be presented with awards from the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) during a ceremony at the project site (in the Terminal B baggage claim/arrivals area) on Tuesday, August 2, at 11 a.m. Conducted annually by AISC, the IDEAS2 awards recognize outstanding achievement in engineering and architecture on structural steel projects around the country. The IDEAS2 award is the highest, most prestigious honor bestowed on building projects by the structural steel industry in the U.S.

Project team members include owner Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose, Calif.; architect - Terminal B – Fentress Architects, San Jose, Calif.; architect – Concourse – Steinberg Architects, San Jose, Calif./Gensler, San Francisco; structural engineer Magnusson Klemencic Associates (AISC Member), Seattle; steel fabricator Gayle Manufacturing Company (AISC Member), Woodland, Calif., and Beck Steel Inc. (AISC Member), Lubbock, Texas; bender/roller Chicago Metal Rolled Products Company (AISC Member), Chicago; steel erector California Erectors (IMPACT Member), Benicia, Calif.; general contractor Clark Construction Group, LLC, Oakland, Calif.; design-build contractor – Terminal B – Hensel Phelps Construction Company, Los Angeles.

The Mineta International Airport Terminal B and Concourse project is a National Winner in the category of projects Greater than $75 Million, making it one of only eight projects around the country to receive the National honor. Each year, the IDEAS2 awards honor National and Merit award winners in three categories, based on constructed value: projects less than $15 million; projects $15 million to $75 million; and projects greater than $75 million. Each project is judged on its use of structural steel, with an emphasis on creative solutions to project requirements; design innovation; aesthetic and visual impact of the project; innovative use of architecturally exposed structural steel; technical or architectural advances in the use of steel; the use of innovative design and construction methods; and sustainable design.

Combined, the new concourse and Terminal B at SJC stretches more than 2,100 ft – the length of seven football fields – with soaring spaces up to 55 ft high. Although limited by site constraints to just a 90-ft width, the 1,600-ft long concourse adds 380,000 sq. ft of passenger space, with ticketing, security, retail/dining, baggage operations, support space, and new departure curb. Terminal B, which is 254,028 sq. ft on three levels, has been designed for future phased expansion in the form of a 12-gate south concourse.

The need for the new structure had become apparent by the late 1990s. The airport was undersized, outdated, and at risk of losing resident airlines. Fearing the negative impacts from that for itself and area businesses, the airport hired architectural firm Gensler to undertake master planning. Ultimately, the San Jose City Council approved a $4.5 billion, 12-year modernization program. The scope and small site – tightly bounded on six sides by a river, roadways, FAA regulations, and a high water table – presented significant challenges.

Work began first on a new concourse building, with Gensler leading the design team which included Steinberg Architects and Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) as structural, seismic, and blast engineer. To meet the owner’s goals of long-term space planning flexibility and operational efficiencies, MKA developed a structural system never before used at a major airport known as a “special truss moment frame” (STMF).

The brace-free openness of the STMF system provided several significant benefits:

  • Extremely ductile and robust performance during a seismic event, important given the airport’s location in the most active and populous earthquake area in the U.S.
  • Accommodation of restrictive site geometries while fitting all desired program elements.
  • Increased architectural freedom and layout flexibility, both initially and in the future, with simplified routing of ducts, pipes, and conduits in the spaces between diagonal trusses and center segment.
  • Triple-duty performance, resisting gravity and earthquake/wind loads in one system.
  • Simplified erection, with STMF components delivered preassembled and erected with bolts and fillet welds.

“The graceful flowing lines speak of movement, and the light skin-like quality of the facade backed up by structural trusses is a successful reference to an airplane fuselage,” commented Robert Theel, AIA, regional chief architect and director, Design & Construction Division, General Services Administration Great Lakes Region, Chicago, a judge in the competition.

Terminal B and the concourse both were delivered under budget and ahead of schedule. Terminal B is expected to receive LEED Silver, and the concourse already has.

The 14 IDEAS2 winners for 2011 were chosen from nearly 100 submissions received by architectural and engineering firms throughout the U.S. Each submission is reviewed and award winners are selected by a nationally recognized panel of design and construction industry professionals.

The IDEAS2 award dates back over 70 years to the earliest years of AISC’s existence. Roger E. Ferch, P.E. president of AISC, said, “The entire Mineta International Airport Terminal B and Concourse project team has shown how structural steel can be used to create structures that combine beauty and practicality. The result is a world-class facility that serves its patrons extremely well, while providing an example of what can be achieved when designing and constructing projects with steel.”

View high resolution images of the Mineta International Airport Terminal B and Concourse project in a slideshow gallery of photos available here.

Mineta International Airport
Photo by Sherman Takata


For more information contact:

Tasha Weiss
Communications Department
(312) 670-5439
[email protected]


American Institute of Steel Construction
The American Institute of Steel Construction, headquartered in Chicago, is a not-for-profit technical institute and trade association established in 1921 to serve the structural steel design community and construction industry. AISC’s mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural steel-related technical and market-building activities, including: specification and code development, research, education, technical assistance, quality certification, standardization, and market development. AISC has a long tradition of service to the steel construction industry of providing timely and reliable information. 

130 East Randolph St. Suite 2000
Chicago IL 60601
Phone: 312.670.2400
Fax: 312.626.2402