Capital Region Airport Commission


Richmond, VA





When the weather outside is frightful, snow removal equipment is used to clear the way for aircraft arrivals and departures during snow events. In need of a new facility to centralize snow removal equipment, staff and storage, Richmond International Airport (RIC) tasked Gresham Smith with designing a Snow Removal Equipment Building as part of an on-call agreement. Serving as a centralized, conditioned space to clean, maintain and supply the snow removal equipment during snowfall events, the new facility allows ease of maintenance, improves operations for the entire airport, and provides RIC with an unparalleled, behind-the-scenes building that ultimately helps planes take off and land safely.

square-foot building
vehicle bays
employees accommodated

Under One Roof

Prior to the new building, the airport’s snow removal equipment was stored outside and in multiple locations. This not only exposed the vehicles to the harsh winter elements, but also made it difficult for staff to carry out maintenance and repairs during snow events. Additionally, the existing dormitory area for operations staff was inadequate, while the sand and salt storage areas were inconveniently located. Our design solution brings all of these functions together under one roof to improve snow removal operations at RIC.

the exterior of the snow removal building at Richmond International Airport

Enhancing Safety for Employees

Constructed on the southeast end of the airport, the 33,000-square-foot facility comprises 17 vehicle bays along with a men’s and a women’s dormitory, locker room and shower facilities. The building allows operations staff to work on broken equipment indoors, away from the ice and snow, while the sleeping accommodations allow employees to remain on-site during winter-weather events.

: the interior of the snow removal building at Richmond International Airport

So Fresh and So Clean

To assist with the proper vehicle cleaning, the facility features an undercarriage chassis washer system that helps reduce corrosion caused by salt and deicing chemicals, increasing vehicle lifespan. Radiant-heated flooring also melts snow off the heavy-duty equipment, resulting in faster run times, and provides a comfortable environment for operations staff.

the exterior of the snow removal building at Richmond International Airport

A Sustainable Design

To reduce energy consumption and operation costs, we incorporated a number of sustainable features into the facility, including high clerestory windows to maximize daylighting in the building, interior/exterior LED fixtures with daylight and occupancy sensors, a high-efficiency ventilation system for the vehicles bays, high SRI-value insulated metal roof panels, and low-flow water fixtures.