McCarran International Airport’s New Terminal 3 Central Utility Plant

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group contributed peer review services, managed commissioning, and coordinated multiple contractors involved in projects for the overall master plan of the airport.


  • Size: 48,000 square feet
  • Construction Cost: $67.7 million
  • Client/Owner: McCarran International Airport
  • Contractor: Penta Building Group
  • Completion Date: 2010

McCarran International Airport’s Terminal 3 Central Utility Plant is a new structure with an exterior utility yard, designed with capacity to serve Terminal 3, Concourse D, and the Automated Transit System (ATS) and stations that link these two facilities. The plant has 11,000 tons of cooling capacity from five 2,200-ton, variable-primary-flow centrifugal chillers, and an additional 2,200-ton centrifugal chiller provided as standby. The chillers are served by five field-erected concrete cooling towers, which also use an additional cell that is provided as standby.

The hot water system consists of six 21,000 MBH hot water boilers with flexible water tubes and an additional 21,000 MBH unit as standby. Four 2,500 KVA diesel generators provide emergency power to both Terminal 3 and the Central Utility Plant.

Tetra Tech was involved early in project development, providing peer review of the design documents and specifications and submittal reviews. Tetra Tech also assisted in the coordination between the numerous contractors to ensure the equipment and systems were properly installed.