Denver Union Station Named DBIA Project of the Year

Denver Union Station's train hall canopy, an efficient and formally expressive means of sheltering multiple railway tracks, is made of hollow structural sections (HSS) and comprises 11 steel arch trusses spanning nearly 180 ft, clad in bright white tensioned fabric. Photo: DBIA

The Denver Union Station Transit Improvement Project has been bestowed with the Design Build Institute of America’s (DBIA) highest honor: Design-Build Project of the Year.

The project opened this past spring and transformed 20 acres of blighted former rail yards into a vibrant centerpiece of a bustling downtown Denver, anchoring and facilitating connections between the region's transit system with all modes of public transit: an iconic, eight-track commuter rail train hall, new light-rail station and an airy, airport-like underground bus concourse with 22 bays for regional and commercial bus service. At $374.8 million and spanning 20 acres and seven city blocks, it is the largest multimodal project to seek LEED Silver certification from the USGBC. The project is a Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivered under a design-build contract model.

The train hall canopy is made of hollow structural sections (HSS) and comprises 11 steel arch trusses spanning nearly 180 ft, clad in bright white tensioned fabric. In profile, it rises 70 ft at either end and descends in a dynamic sweep to 22 ft at the center, a gesture that allows the structure to protect the passenger platforms below, while remaining clear of the view corridor established to protect views of the historic station. In addition to Amtrak service, four commuter rail lines are scheduled to open in 2016 and 2018.

The canopy used more than 1,400 tons of steel that was fabricated by Schuff Steel in Phoenix (an AISC Member and AISC Certified fabricator and Advanced Certified Steel Erector) and erected by AISC Member LPR Construction.

The Project of the Year team also includes: Owner: Denver Union Station Project Authority; Design-Builder, Construction Manager: Kiewit; Architect: Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill LLP; Engineer: AECOM; BIM Specialist/Construction: Legacy Mechanical Inc.; and Specialty Consultant: Hargreaves Associates.

"The remarkable Denver Union Station Project is a shining example of what can be accomplished through Design-Build Done Right™," said Lisa Washington, CAE, DBIA's executive director and CEO. "The project team truly took integrated project delivery to the next level by releasing design packages in alignment with construction activities, embedding lead architects and engineers in the contractors' offices and through weekly owner/architect/contractor meetings to ensure key decision-makers were frequently engaged. We could not be more proud to present this prestigious award to the Denver Union Station Project Authority and the entire project team as DBIA's 2014 Design-Build Project of the Year."

DBIA also announced this year’s National Award of Excellence winners. Recognized for exemplary collaboration and integration in design-build project delivery, the award-winning projects were evaluated by a distinguished panel of industry experts. View all of this year’s winners here.