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San Francisco International Airport - Terminal 3 East

WSP USA provided mechanical and electrical design services for the renovation of Terminal 3 East at San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Terminal 3, home to United Airlines, underwent a complete renovation to bring the facility up to SFO’s new design standards developed in Terminal 2 and the recent Boarding Area E projects.


The project includes approximately 320,000 square feet over four levels and the construction was completed in phases to allow the terminal to remain active and minimize passenger and employee disruption during construction. A new 20,000 sf addition was added to the airside to increase passenger circulation and reduce congestion at security screening checkpoints. The newly renovated Terminal 3 East also includes 12,000 square feet of tenant retail concessions to provide more amenities for passengers and increase airport retail revenue.

Our firm designed on-site renewable energy systems and high performance mechanical and electrical building systems to help the airport meet its sustainability goals. The mechanical and electrical systems were completely renovated, providing modern, reliable, efficient and sustainable systems.

Renovations included:

  • Replacement of existing medium pressure dual-duct HVAC systems with new efficient fan wall technology rooftop AHU’s serving displacement ventilation VAV system on the Departures Level and overhead VAV system on the other levels.

  • Replacement of existing 12KV electrical feeders, switchgear, substations and distribution with new modern technology with SCADA interface and controls.

  • Replacement of existing life safety emergency generator and fuel oil systems.

  • Renewable energy system using photovoltaic technology.

  • Building Automation System (BAS) upgrade.

  • Fire Alarm System (FAS) upgrade

  • Coordination with TSA to provide eight new security screening checkpoint lanes to reduce passenger congestion.

  • Coordination with new pre-conditioned air, 400Hz power and other aircraft and passenger boarding bridge systems.

  • Coordination with new baggage handling systems.

The San Francisco International Airport Terminal 3 East project was designed to meet the requirements of the San Francisco Green Building Ordinance and LEED® Gold certification using the LEED 2009 for Building Design and Construction rating system. The City and County of San Francisco has also set a goal of reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions to 25% below 1990 levels by 2017. The Airport’s current emissions are 19% below the 1990 levels.