San Francisco International Airport | New Air Traffic Control Tower
San Francisco, CA
Photos: John Swain Photography, R+C, HNTB (rendering)
  • $100 million
  • Vertical post-tensioning in concrete core to re-center tower
  • Soil-structure interaction study to predict behavior on unique site
  • LEED Gold design

The new tower links Terminal 1 with Terminal 2 in a cutting-edge facility for air traffic controllers and FAA staff. The project involved the preparation of the conceptual design and design-build bridging documents for the replacement tower. R+C was responsible for development of the project-specific seismic design criteria, which required close collaboration with SFO and FAA stakeholders, since the design involved a non-prescriptive (performance-based) approach intended to provide Immediate Occupancy in the Design Basis EQ. R+C performed nonlinear response history analysis to develop the innovative structural concept, which includes unbonded vertical post tensioning in a concrete core—this allows the tower to re-center itself, reducing residual post-earthquake displacement.

R+C provided structural and geotechnical engineering services related to the seismic design of the new tower and also provided peer review services to the design-build team.