Daniel K. Inouye (Honolulu) International Airport Modernization

HNL Terminal Modernization

Daniel K. Inouye (Honolulu) International Airport Modernization

With nearly 20 million people passing through its terminals in 2015, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport is enhancing the passenger experience with a series of world-class modernization projects that HDR is supporting from our Honolulu office. Our scope of work for final design started with complete renovation of about 20,000 square feet inside the airport terminal. It now includes the modernization of multiple areas inside the terminals. Among them are restrooms, passenger hold rooms and security facilities. 

In early 2018, we delivered design plans to modernize 23 existing pairs of lavatories and four family lavatories, plus one new pair for a total of 52 restrooms. Construction will begin in late 2018 and the construction cost for this project is estimated at $19 million. Completion is anticipated in 2020. As of May 2018, we are preparing a modification to the contractor’s scope to add Outbound Search Rooms and modernize the south end of the Central Diamond Head Concourse. 

Challenges for the restroom modernization included an abbreviated design schedule, which required delivery in 10 months. A sunset provision on the project’s funding source drove the airport’s aggressive timeline. Drawing on our experience redesigning restrooms at Penn Station in New York City, we started right away by benchmarking passenger terminals at airports around the world, including Heathrow in London, LAX and Sea-Tac. 

Innovating on a Compressed Schedule

Our investigation ultimately informed innovations designed to address the Hawaii Department of Transportation Airport Division’s concerns about potential prolonged power outages resulting from a Hurricane or Tsunami event. For example, our restroom redesign spec’d the latest in product technology, such as self-charging flushometers. What is a self-charging flushometer? It allows water to flow through the receptacle and spin a turbine that stores the electricity needed to power each restroom fixture. 

At the sinks, we grouped the soap, water and hand-drying implements over a single, linear trough, eliminating maintenance related to soap drips and wet floors while also eliminating paper towel waste. Consolidated hand-washing stations also reduce movement inside the restrooms. Meanwhile, a central pumping system feeds soap to all dispensers, creating maintenance and cost efficiencies. 

In addition to meeting the Airport Division’s requirements, our design represents a more sustainable solution overall — from environmental and energy conservation to operations-and-maintenance costs. Given the scale of these improvements, they will substantially benefit our environment. 

Experiencing Designs in Virtual Reality

We refined the interior design through constant engagement with the airport’s management, custodial and maintenance staff, among other stakeholders. The critical role of stakeholder input, coupled with the compressed timeline, led to another innovative design technique for this type of project. We deployed immersive virtual reality to present our design concepts using the Google Cardboard platform, which made it possible for stakeholders to experience design features firsthand without having to wait for traditional renderings between design phases — and in a user-friendly format that did not require the ability to interpret drawings.

“We explored dozens of options for the client,” said our Project Manager James McConnell. “It became too time-critical to do a new rendering every week so our team jumped in and learned the visualization software ourselves. After that, the client would ask us to see a design option — and at the next meeting, we would have it ready for them. Because of the number of stakeholders involved, virtual reality and BIM were integrated as an effective way to convey the designs.”

HNL Terminal Modernization
Hawaii Department of Transportation Airports Division

Honolulu, HI
United States

20,000+ SF