About the ProjecT

Building description

The largest infrastructure project in the region’s history, the aging three-terminal building will be replaced with a single 39 gate terminal that can be expanded to 50 gates in the future.  The modern new building features a large check-in hall, expanded open hold rooms and a finely tuned façade design that maximizes daylighting without sacrificing thermal comfort. The hold room and departures areas are conditioned with an overhead mixing system composed of long and short throw diffusers hidden up high behind architectural elements as well as floor grilles along the perimeter.

Unique Design Challenges

The main design challenge is balancing daylighting with solar heat gain in the departures area since it has a full-height wrap-around glass façade and skylights. CFD modelling was used to ensure the supply air is delivered into the occupied zone from a high sidewall location without excessive draft.

Our Solution

A CFD model of a passenger hold area was created to verify the air distribution methodology and confirm the throw of the nozzles under design conditions.

Most of the effort was spent on a CFD model of the level 2 departures area to fine-tune diffuser sizing & placement. The CFD model showed that, even though set-point temperatures were met, extra capacity was needed to offset the effect of the solar load. This was achieved with a combination of slightly more supply air volume and lower supply air temperature, as well adjustments to the how the drum louver diffusers were directed into the space, to optimize mixing performance.


The construction of the building is not yet complete, but the CFD results showed that reasonable adjustments to the HVAC design have a high probability of yielding good thermal comfort under worst-case, design day conditions.

Kansas City, MO | 2023

Engineer: Henderson Engineers

Architect: Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Price Rep: Jorban Riscoe

Scope of work: Passenger hold area, level 2 departures area

HVAC system: Overhead mixing

Awards: LEED Gold