A little savings goes a long way

Southwest Georgia Regional Airport
Albany, Georgia
26,000 square feet
Michael Baker (LPA Group)
General Contractor – Lump Sum

On some projects, half-a-million dollars in potential saving is a big deal. Such was the case at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, where Walbridge’s Value Analysis/Value Engineering (VA/VE) allowed the client to put that much back into their new terminal.

Walbridge broke ground on construction of a new two-gate Delta Airlines terminal for Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in March 2012. In addition to boasting high-end finishes and displays, the terminal also contains what’s expected: ticket counters, waiting areas, restrooms, passenger screening, baggage operations, a departure lounge with laptop stations, concessions, luggage carousels, a rental car counter and administrative areas. Squeezing all of that into 26,000 square feet made the project quite complex, and the use of various exterior finishes added to the challenge.

Challenges and Solutions

The variety of finishes on the building’s exterior included the stone veneer, which was locally sourced, a metal-wall panel system and extensive curtain walls. Eight different roofs were used for the building, including two drop off canopies and two covered porches. Installing the wide variety of high-grade exterior finishes and ensuring a water-tight building proved challenging due to the terminal’s unique profile.

Inside, eye-catching light fixtures and stainless-steel displays were installed to insert regional flavor, including exhibits from the local Audubon Society and U.S. Marine Corps.

Perhaps what’s most impressive about the project is its VA/VE numbers. Walbridge identified $564,011 in potential savings to the client, who accepted 99 percent of the suggestions. The biggest savings was found in the use of an Arriscraft manufactured stone for the building’s façade in lieu of a natural limestone field with marble accents, a savings of roughly $370,000. With only a moderate redesign to incorporate the panels, an extra boost was brought to the project budget, allowing the client to request various changes at no additional cost to the bottom line.

With that, the project team also submitted 11 lessons learned to Walbridge’s corporate data base – nine totaling a savings of more than $182,000. The new $10.8 million Southwest Georgia Regional Airport terminal reached substantial completion in August 2013.