The Terminal A facade upgrade at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. Courtesy Mr.TinDC/Flickr (left) and Rudi Riet/Flickr (right).

Reagan National Airport – Terminal A Facade Upgrade



Protective Design, which became a Thornton Tomasetti practice in September 2015, designed blast-resistant windows to replace the original windows in a historic landmark airport terminal. Our engineers also designed a replacement system for the two-story curtain wall in the terminal’s main waiting room to accommodate blast and resist wind, seismic, and gravity loads. The dynamic designs were performed using our in-house single degree of freedom and multiple degree of freedom software to gain a thorough understanding of the loads imposed on the supporting existing structure and masonry while keeping the profiles of the existing window within the architectural and historic constraints.

Protection and Preservation
Due to the terminal’s historic landmark status, the replacement windows had to follow the original sight lines and materials, as well as the intent of the 1941 architectural drawings. Our engineers performed a survey of existing conditions; collected information from the original structural, architectural, and window shop drawings; and performed a site investigation. The project required extensive coordination with the architect, the Airports Authority, and the specification writers and cost estimators. In addition to the window replacement, the project involved extensive removal and replacement of the concrete façade and restoration of ceiling mosaic artwork. The terminal remained occupied and operational throughout the construction process.

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