San Diego International Airport Rental Car Center

  • Location:

    San Diego, California

  • Client:

    San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

  • Construction Value:


  • Delivery Method:


  • Year Completed:


  • Specialties:

    Aviation, Parking Structures, Sustainability

Features & Highlights

  • LEED Gold
  • Largest concrete building in San Diego
Project Overview

The consolidated rental car center at San Diego International Airport is a massive 2 million square feet. The structure houses 12 rental car companies, a customer service building, a quick turnaround car prep facility and a 5,400 car ready/return area. The project was the first major component of the airport’s long-range plan to reduce airport traffic congestion and bring passengers closer to Interstate 5 and commuter rail lines.

The project team placed 97,500 cubic yards of concrete in 12 months on the 24-acre site. All concrete pours started in the early morning to help alleviate traffic congestion and complete the deck pours prior to other crews arriving on site. This resulted in more productive on-site operations during the day when construction personnel averaged 400 people a day. Deliveries were handled using four tower cranes, operating simultaneously during the concrete formwork operations.

The facility also includes:

  • 2,800 concrete piles supporting the building foundation
  • 25 million pounds of rebar
  • 5 million square feet of formwork
  • 956 precast panels forming the building skin

Neighborhood impact was a major concern for the client, and the project team was committed to addressing the concerns of the surrounding community. Residents were concerned about the facility’s impact of their views of the bay and city skyline. To address those concerns, the team built a 3D BIM model to show actual lighting levels of the facility at night. These models were used to convey to the nearby neighborhoods what the facility would look like at night and what impact the facility would have on the skyline.

The LEED GOLD certification was met through details such as implementation of reclaimed water and site bioswale filters, energy efficient equipment and lighting and the installation of regional and recycled materials. The facility also helps improve air quality by removing multiple shuttles from the streets and simplifies the trip to and from a single, centralized rental car lot for passengers.

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The project team placed 97,500 cubic yards of concrete on the 24-acre site, enough to build a 362-mile sidewalk from San Diego International Airport to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.


Awards & Accolades

2017 AGC San Diego Chapter, Build San Diego Award, Excellence in Building Construction, Public Work category

2016 American Public Works Association, Project of the Year

2016 Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute Honors Award

2016 Structural Engineers Association of San Diego, Certificate of Merit in Infrastructure