Case Study: Installing Epoxy Terrazzo at Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Airports are among the places where terrazzo is installed today. For the Destination CLT initiative, Doyle Dickerson Terrazzo was on board to add epoxy terrazzo throughout the Concourse A expansions. Terrazzo adds elegance, durability and low maintenance, and today Charlotte Douglas International Airport ranks among the airports improving the passenger experience with its new state-of-the-art facility.
In this case study, we take you behind the scenes on the development and design of the terrazzo floors seen at Concourse A. We’ll also examine how terrazzo can play a pivotal role for future airport construction projects.
The landscape of airport design is changing. Today airports are working with contractors to meet the needs of its passengers, proving upgrades in technology, amenities, and even flooring. Doyle Dickerson Terrazzo is a local terrazzo contractor headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. We recognize that Charlotte is a growing city with millions of passengers flying through Charlotte annually. By installing epoxy terrazzo at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, we offer a flooring system that will keep pace with the growing number of passengers each year but also benefiting each passenger with safe, sustainable and aesthetically beautiful flooring.
Concourse A at Charlotte Douglas International Airport was completed during the summer of 2018.
Surface Preparation: Flexible Membrane
One of the earlier stages of a terrazzo installation is surface preparation. Terrazzo installers focus on creating a strong bond between the concrete and the terrazzo topping. Doyle Dickerson Terrazzo added a flexible membrane epoxy system to Concourse A at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The flexible membrane is applied which absorbs horizontal concrete cracks or control joint movements.
With thousands of travelers walking across these floors daily, it is ideal to have a floor that is crack resistant. Because terrazzo has high compressive and tensile strengths, these floors are durable enough to last the entire life of the airport, meaning less frequent repairs and replacements required.
Surface Preparation: Epoxy Infill
Terrazzo installers apply an epoxy infill for Concourse A. Epoxy resins fill in any cracks. Epoxy is flexible to resist high impacts and punctures. Also in the early stages of a terrazzo installation, construction workers can review the floor’s tolerance. If the floor is not at an even field, they can apply epoxy over an existing substrate to meet floor tolerance levels. Once all the surface preparation is completed, installers can begin mixing components for the terrazzo floor.
Once the floor layout is complete, terrazzo installers begin mixing the components for the epoxy terrazzo floor. For this project, the installers mixed components for three colors. Epoxy terrazzo is known for its design flexibility, which includes the ability to select virtually any color possible. Once the installers mix the components, they hand trowel the batch across the specified area. This is continued until all areas of the surface are covered in epoxy terrazzo.
Grinding and Polishing Terrazzo
It is during the grinding and polishing stage where the beauty of terrazzo begins to reveal itself. Aggregates expose themselves from the floor and the epoxy terrazzo colors begin to shine. Installers will go over the surface with an electric floor grinder which will transition from a rough surface to a much smoother surface. Once the grinding stage is finished, the polishing stage begins. This stage allows the floors to shine. Once the floor is cleaned and dried, sealer is applied to the floor for extra protection and the project concludes.
In total 58,055 square feet of epoxy terrazzo was installed for Concourse A. Project designed by Perkins and Will. Building construction by Turner Rodgers Joint Venture.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport Enhances Travel with Terrazzo
Terrazzo is a building material poured in place or made in precast consisting of chips of marble, quartz, granite or glass. Terrazzo is one of the “greenest” flooring materials available today with the lowest lifecycle cost of any flooring system as well. With travelers constantly on the go, terrazzo is ideal for airports. With a wide range of colors to work with plus the ability to create custom artwork, airports can add design a unique place for their daily travelers.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport uses terrazzo to build a continuous space that guides travelers to their next destination. While there are times that travelers can pause and look at some of the incredible art displays, and even the terrazzo floor, there is always a constant flow of traffic. Furthermore, the new expansion is not only designed to be easy to navigate around but also allow for quicker movements. Seamless floors make it a lot easier for a traveler to wheel luggage across the floor without the hassle of going over textured surfaces.
With the expansion of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport completed, the space brings excitement to the city. Millions of travelers will venture through the airport each year. With more airport construction project on the horizon incorporating terrazzo in their overall design, travel has a bright future.