San Diego International Airport Terminal 2

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After years of planning, the San Diego International Airport was ready for take-off with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum terminal design that included the use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) coating systems from Tnemec.

“The project features alternative energy sources, recycled construction materials, and more than 1,000 gallons of LEED-compliant coatings,” explained Denis Amyot of TPC Consultants, Inc. “A low-VOC fluoropolymer coating system that offers extended gloss and color retention and protection against ultraviolet (UV) light was used on all exterior exposed steel, including canopies, two pedestrian sky bridges, and other structural steel.”San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 Image 1San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 Image 2

Designated “The Green Build,” the project was part of a $1 billion expansion and renovation of the airport’s Terminal 2 that included 10 new boarding and departure gates and an elevated roadway for vehicle departure covered by 50-foot high canopies. Airside enhancements included more than 1.3 million square feet of apron paving constructed on a brownfield site and utility plant upgrades.

Carbon steel surfaces were prepared by fabricators in accordance with SSPC-SP 6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning and shop-primed with Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, a zinc-rich aromatic urethane coating. Series 94-H2O Hydro-Zinc, a one-component zinc-rich primer was used for field touch-up, followed by an intermediate coat of Series L69 Hi-Build Epoxoline II and a finish coat of Series 1071V Fluoronar, a semi-gloss fluoropolymer coating.

The same coating system was used for a large window frame on the airside of the terminal, although Series 1071V was replaced by Series 750 UVX, a low-VOC polyurethane finish coat. Interior metal doors and frames, as well as galvanized metal surfaces such as stairs, were primed with Series 115 Uni-Bond DF, a waterborne, rust-inhibitive coating, followed by a finish coat of Series 1029 Enduratone, a water-based, low-VOC acrylic polymer coating.

“All of the products used on the project met the restrictions on VOC content allowed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB),” Amyot noted.

The award-winning project was the first LEED-Platinum-certified commercial airport in the world and the largest expansion in the history of San Diego International Airport.

project information

Project Location

San Diego, California

Project Completion Date

Summer 2013


HNTB Corporation, URS Corporation, Tuck Sadler Architects

Shop Applicators

D&L Quality Painting, EW Corporation, R.W. Little Company, Techno Coating

Field Applicators

General Coating Corp., Hasson Painting Contractors, Lawrence B. Bonas Company, Pecoraro, Inc.