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Transportation & Aviation

Birmingham Shuttlesworth Airport, Birmingham, Ala.

The airport is Alabama's largest airport, which served 2.9 million passengers in 2011 and was ranked in the top 75 airports in the United States. The $201.6 million terminal modernization project will double the size of the terminal, as well as add a federal customs inspection station to facilitate direct international air traffic. Construction began in February 2011 and is expected to finish sometime in 2014. The airport will remain operational during the project, which encompasses both expansion and renovation.

In October 2011, the installation of an 8-inch, 16-gauge ACCEL-E Steel Thermal Efficient panel wall system from SYNTHEON Inc. began. When finished, the system will account for 106,000 square feet of wall space for the new concourse. SYNTHEON panels were ideal for the project due to its EPS insulation and sound qualities. In addition, SYNTHEON manufactured the panels specifically for the project in response to the exterior wall cladding manufacturers' requirements for 16-gauge stud backup.

"The infill has gone pretty quickly. We're saving time because we don't have to come back and insulate the panels. It makes it a lot quicker, a lot easier," says Shane Swords, project manager for Brasfield & Gorrie.

"Our desire was to give the owner [the Birmingham Airport Authority] a very low-maintenance and high-efficiency building envelope," says Dale Schexnayder, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP, architect and director of specifications for KPS Group.

Schexnayder notes that the architectural firm did not want to start with steel studs and batt insulation. "We have learned over the years that this conventional wall system is very inefficient because of gaps in the insulation and thermal short circuits through the steel studs," he explains. LEED Silver certification is being pursued for the new concourse. "Utilizing a highly energyefficient wall panel would certainly give us the opportunity to optimize energy performance, while assuring a high percentage of LEED credits," Schexnayder says.

Owner: Birmingham Airport Authority

General contractor: Brasfield & Gorrie, Birmingham

Architect: KPS Group, Birmingham

Installer: F.L. Crane & Sons, Fulton, Miss.

Insulated wall system: SYNTHEON Inc., Leetsdale, Pa.,,