It’s moving month for the staff of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
DFW’s administrative offices are relocating to a new energy-efficient headquarters that will anchor the airport’s Southgate Plaza development. The three-story, 154,000-square-foot building recently opened, and the airport board held its first monthly meeting at the facility two weeks ago.
“We’ve been able to create a much more open environment, so you’ll see less offices,” Sean Donohue, the airport’s chief executive, said about the new headquarters. “I think it will generate better collaboration and better communication.”
The building features coffee bars on the second and third floors along with a large break room called “The Hangar,” which has lounge chairs, couches and tables for employees to use for impromptu meetings or lunches.
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The airport board, which spent $54 million on the facility, decided three years ago that the 1970s-era headquarters building on Airfield Drive was outdated. The airport would have had to spend millions to upgrade the existing building, which was too small for the airport staff.
Staff members have been spread out over 10 buildings at the airport. With the new headquarters, which can accommodate up to 525 employees, most of the airport’s administrative departments will be consolidated.
The new building also has several energy-efficiency features, said Thomas Dallam, the airport’s vice president of human resources. There is LED lighting in the offices with a “light harvesting” feature — they automatically dim or brighten depending on the amount of natural sunlight coming in.
The roof is a single-ply membrane, white “cool roof,” and there is a trellis overhang on the west side of the building that will help provide shade in the late afternoon to keep energy costs down.
Earlier this year, the airport board approved a 60-year lease with a Dallas commercial real estate firm to manage the old headquarters and two other office buildings at the airport. That deal has helped offset the cost of the debt payments on the new headquarters, Donohue said.
From his new office — which like other executive offices in the new building is smaller than his old one — Donohue will still be able to see arriving and departing aircraft. But he won’t be able to see the runways.
“It’s a bit of a bummer, but that’s OK,” Donohue said with a smile.
Andrea Ahles, 817-390-7631
DFW Airport Headquarters
▪ Cost $54 million to build.
▪ Can house up to 524 employees.
▪ Has 68 meeting and conference rooms.
▪ Includes a 20 gigabit network.
▪ Three-story building with 154,000 square feet.
Source: DFW Airport