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Credit: Aerial Photography “Wings” is the latest addition to Southwest Airlines’ Love Field headquarters campus. The complex consists of a 425,000 square-foot office building and an attached 380,000 square-foot flight training center. A 1,950-space pre-cast concrete parking structure along with surface parking provide for a total of 2,500 vehicles.

Recently, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. completed the Southwest Airlines ‘Wings’ project located adjacent to Love Field Airport in Dallas, Texas expanding Southwest’s campus headquarters. The project consisted of a new office building and Leadership Education and Aircrew Development (LEAD) Center and took approximately two years to complete. The complex includes a six-story, 425,000-square-foot office building, a 1,950-space parking garage and an attached 375,000-square-foot LEAD building that houses 18 flight simulator bays. These flight simulators will be used to train pilots on existing and new aircraft added to Southwest’s fleet.

McCarthy served as the construction manager at-risk with architect BOKA Powell on the ‘Wings’ project, and the team faced some unique challenges along the way.  The LEAD Center was designed and built to protect the expensive equipment it houses against natural and man-made disasters, and McCarthy had to determine the right materials to meet that need. The LEAD Center is built with a pre-cast hardened structure designed to withstand the forces of an F3 tornado (wind speeds of 210 mph). It also includes a blast slab, two-layer roof and a 20-by-20-foot elevator, which is the largest elevator ever built in a flight simulator facility. Additionally, the team added additional reinforcing and large columns to increase structural rigidity.

McCarthy utilized innovative technologies such as laser scanning during construction to maintain quality on the job site and save time and money. Building information modeling was used to assist crews with precise installation of all structural components. Teams used a model for coordination of MEP for concrete lift drawings to ensure plates, electric panels and wires were not missed. These methods ultimately help the client track placement of all building elements for future repairs and renovations.


For more information:

Elizabeth LaMonte

Dala Communications for McCarthy – Texas

(972) 931-7576 ext. 354

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