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Richmond International Airport - Snow Removal Equipment Building

Snow removal equipment (SRE) is used to clear the way for aircraft arrivals and departures during snow events. In need of a new facility to centralize the airport’s SRE, staff and storage, Richmond International Airport (RIC) solicited GS&P to design a Snow Removal Equipment Building as part of an on-call agreement.

Showcase TEN | Richmond International Snow Equipment Removal Building from Gresham, Smith and Partners on Vimeo.

Prior to the new building, the airport’s SRE, such as snow plows and brush trucks, were stored outside and in multiple locations. This not only exposed the vehicles to the harsh winter elements but also made them difficult to maintain and repair during snow events. Moreover, the existing dormitory area for operations staff was inadequate, and the sand and salt storage areas were inconveniently located. GS&P was tasked with bringing all of these functions together under one roof to improve snow removal operations at RIC.
Constructed on the southeast end of the airport, the new vehicle storage and maintenance facility comprises 17 vehicle bays with a dormitory area that provides sleeping accommodations and locker room facilities for up to 20 employees. This allows operations staff to be on-site and readily available during winter-weather events. The 32,842-square-foot building is fortified to support a 7.5-ton bridge crane to assist with the loading of salts and chemicals as well as maintenance and repair of snow removal equipment. The program also includes a standalone, 1,116-square-foot deicing fluid tank farm with containment walls that increases storage capacity and improves on existing storage tanks that required upgrading.
The design team selected a pre-engineered metal building structure to reduce construction costs and increase construction efficiency. To assist with the proper cleaning of vehicles, the facility features an undercarriage chassis washer system with hot-water pressure-washer units spaced throughout the vehicle bays that helps reduce corrosion caused by salt and deicing chemicals, increasing the lifespan of the vehicles. Creating a more comfortable environment for operations staff, radiant-heated flooring also assists in proper cleaning by melting snow off the heavy-duty equipment, resulting in faster run times.
To reduce energy consumption and operation costs, GS&P incorporated a number of sustainable features into the facility, including high clerestory windows to maximize daylighting in the building (a large roof overhang helps shade the higher summer sun), 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.
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. 


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Project Info

  • Client: Capital Region Airport Commission/Richmond International Airport
  • Location: Richmond, VA, USA
  • Market: Aviation
  • Services: Architecture, Engineering
  • Team:
    • Wilson P. Rayfield Jr. , AIA, NCARB, LEED AP PIC
    • David L. King , AIA, NCARB PM
    • Kevin W. Hopkins, AIA, NCARB, CDT, LEED AP BD+C PP
    • Todd P. Martin, AIA
    • Jordan Nolan , NCIDQ, IIDA
    • Eric Sweet, CID
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