Dubuque Regional Airport


Client:  Dubuque Regional Airport (DBQ) – Dubuque, IA
Square Feet:  33,000
Completion Date:  July 2016

The new DBQ terminal building underscores the importance of the City of Dubuque’s sustainability
mission and helps to emphasize the importance of the Tri-State region to the success of the airport
through strategic expansion and innovation. With this vision in mind, our goal was to fold three major
objectives into one building: demonstrate best practices in the area of energy efficiency and
environmentally conscious design, accommodate current needs with an eye towards future expansion,
and to design a building that recalls the regional landscape.

In September of 2017, one year after the grand opening and receipt of final documentation, the
terminal was awarded LEED® Silver. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating
system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council® (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings,
homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved
environmental and human health performance.

LEED certification is a third party assurance that the terminal achieved a certain benchmark relative to
its stated goals in the area of energy conservation and environmentally conscious design. Strategies
including use of locally produced construction materials, high efficiency mechanical systems including
geothermal heating and cooling, building wide energy recovery unit, LED lighting systems, and low-use
water fixtures, are the main contributors to certification.
https://www.usgbc.org/projects/construct-terminal-building

By using native limestone veneers on the exterior of the building coupled with raised prairie gardens
along the building’s façade, we emphasize the building’s relationship to the regional landscape. Stone
plinth walls at various locations bring the outside in and anchor the building to the land. Soaring
cantilevers, clerestories, and sweeping overhangs are reminiscent of airplane wings and suggest motion
as they draw your eye across and through the building. Anchoring the 3 pods of the building, atrium like
interior spaces lined with clerestory windows on four sides draw your eye up into the space and achieve
exceptional daylighting deep into the building while providing views to the airspace over the airport.

The project was awarded the 2017 Grand Award in Masonry Design by the Masonry Institute of Iowa for
the design of the project.  The MII award program recognizes architects and projects for their
contribution to Iowa architecture on the basis of ‘creative use of masonry, architectural design, proper
installation of masonry by contractor, technical innovations in masonry design, and suitability of the
design to its environment’.  MII selected winners from a pool of 21 entries submitted by 17 architecture
firms from across Iowa.

Here is a video the Dubuque Regional Airport commissioned to visualize the history of the airport and the outcome of the final product –  the new Terminal Building