Denver Airport Jeppsen Terminal

In  1989, Colorado’s Stapleton International Airport, originally known as Denver Municipal Airport, turned 60 and faced challenges to its operations that come with age. Fortunately, plans to build a more modern facility were already under way, and Severud Associates was retained to design the long-span roof, glass enclosure systems and curbside canopies for the Jeppesen Terminal at the new Denver International Airport.


The terminal’s ultra-thin, Teflon-coated fiberglass roof rises and falls in peaks and valleys that mimic the surrounding Rocky Mountains, making it one of the airport’s most notable and acclaimed features. Severud Associates designed a tensile membrane structure consisting of an inner and outer layer, and a glass wall support system that cantilevers from the floor and low roof slabs. The roof system uses six miles of structural cable and more than one million square feet of fabric.To account for the harsh weather in Colorado that includes heavy snow and strong winds, Severud produced computer simulations based on models tested in a boundary layer wind tunnel and a water flume wind/snow simulator to determine the general distribution of snow drifts on the roof.


Throughout its history, Severud Associates has been at the forefront of providing structural engineering services for airport projects. The 1950’s saw the design of the United Airlines Terminal at Idlewild Airport, now known as JFK International Airport. In 2003, the U.S. Airways Terminal One at the Philadelphia International Airport was completed and eventually won the Platinum Award for Engineering Excellence from ACEC New York, and in 2007 the award-winning American Airlines Terminal Redevelopment Project at JFK was finished. This tradition continues today with the design of the new Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport.