North Satellite Modernization Project completed at Seattle-Tacoma airport

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Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) in Washington has opened its newly constructed N Concourse, also known as the North Satellite Modernization Project.

The concourse includes eight new passenger gates and 12 remodeled gates with a plug-in at every gate seat. It also boasts an Alaska Airlines passenger lounge and 10 new local and nationally acclaimed art installations. Additionally, the North Satellite Modernization Project tripled the number of dining and retail options, now featuring Tundra Taqueria, SEA Roast Coffee House, and Wendy’s (the latter will open December 2021) with more set to open in 2022.

The newly renovated N Concourse was designed by Fentress Architects and AECOM, and is intended to evoke the movement of a naturally meandering river. The facility was built by construction firm Hensel Phelps.

During construction, workers logged more than 2,100,000 labor hours to build the facility over four years. Over 20%, or US$100m, of this construction was spent with small business enterprises, and US$16.5m of this went to minority- or women-owned businesses. Throughout the process, 76%—or 20,000 tons—of construction waste was recycled and thereby diverted from landfills, and nearly US$21m of recycled materials were used on the project.

Similarly, energy-efficient LED lighting, heating, and cooling methods implemented during construction will save approximately 1,700,000kWh annually, which is equal to the annual energy usage of 170 homes. This project also saw the airport’s first system for the collection and reuse of rainwater. Rainwater captured from the roof is used to flush toilets, which will save 2.8 million gallons of potable water annually.

As the modernization project included a brand-new performance stage, the airport upgraded its existing live music tradition and launched its first-ever art and culture-filled festival. ‘Experience SEA @ N’ was held alongside the opening of N Concourse and featured artists performing live music, poetry readings and some spoken word. Other festival highlights included art tours, special promotions and samplings from the airport’s new dining options.

Fred Felleman, president of the Port of Seattle Commission, said, “This event celebrates the natural and cultural richness of the Pacific Northwest. The building embodies our values of creating economic opportunities in an inclusive and environmentally responsible manner.”

Curtis Fentress, principal in charge of design at Fentress Architects, said, “N Concourse is now emblematic of the Pacific Northwest, its majestic sights and sounds. Every element of the design works in concert to orient travelers as it greets visitors and welcomes home residents.”

Shannon Gustine, vice president of Hensel Phelps, said, “Hensel Phelps and our trade partners often come together to build complex projects, but the North Satellite Modernization Project was a unique opportunity to not only work through challenging logistics and safety, but to truly change the impression and experience of so many traveling to our area. This is a unique experience, and we are honored to have been a part of such an amazing team effort.”

Lance Lyttle, managing director of SEA said, “Live music has been a part of the SEA scene for many years, but we have never hosted a festival of culture and arts at this scale. The debut performances on this stage will be something to remember with three music sets, one spoken word artist and the state’s Poet Laureate. Listen in, lean in and experience SEA.”

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