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Wood Wizardry in Oregon: Innovation Raises the Roof for PDX Terminal

18 June 2024

Drones, self-propelled modular transporters and a curtain wall that really does hang off the roof like a curtain are all notable technologies that made installing an 18-million-lb timber roof possible at Portland International Airport. Of equal weight is the emphasis on full-scale sourcing of the timber and representing the Pacific Northwest’s residents, history and geography.

Slated for a 2025 opening, the revamp of PDX’s Terminal Core (TCORE) nearly doubles the size of the main terminal—within the existing footprint—and creates a modern layout for better operations and passenger experience. Some 1.2 million sq ft of the existing TCORE is being renovated, while adding some 400,000 sq ft by repurposing space formerly occupied by two aircraft gates into a “Western Expansion.”

Original plans to simply upgrade the existing terminal gave way to the expansion when officials realized “we would need to move structural elements that couldn’t be moved,” says George Seaman, engineering project manager with the Port of Portland.

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