LAX Central Utility Plant
Aviation — Los Angeles, CA

LAX Central Utility Plant

The new 90,000-square-foot Central Utility Plant (CUP) for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was built to replace the existing 50-year old facility with a modern, state-of-the-art, computer-managed utility plant providing enhanced passenger comfort and reliability of utility service and safety within the newly renovated modernized terminals at LAX. The project included demolition of the existing CUP as well as construction of a new 64,000-square-foot, steel-framed replacement CUP with a 20,000-ton cooling capacity. The project also entailed the installation of associated equipment, such as a stand-by boiler, primary and secondary chilled water pumps, cooling towers, electrical systems and switchgear.

A new maintenance shop and offices and an above-grade thermal energy storage (TES) tank with capacity for 1.6 million gallons of water and 15,500 ton-hours of cooling was also built. Other work included: replacement of approximately 18 miles of pipe and duct bank that services the entire Central Terminal Area (CTA) with utility distribution, electrical and communications systems as well as reclaimed water, fire water and potable water systems; installation of several miles of new distribution piping throughout the CTA and beneath existing main entrance roadways throughout the airport; and an upgrade of pump rooms and air handling equipment in 21 different locations within all terminals, administrative buildings and the LAX Theme Building.

The CUP structure was designed as an essential facility with stringent seismic drift criteria to protect the facility during a major earthquake.


Joint Venture Partner

  • Clark Construction


  • Guren Associates


Paul King

Paul King

20401 SW Birch St
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Awards and Recognition

dbia logo
2016 Award of Merit

LAX Central Utility Plant
Design-Build Institute of America

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2015 Outstanding Architectural Engineering

Project of the Year
LAX Central Utility Plant
ASCE Metropolitan LA Branch

Melvin award hammer
2015 Melvin McCarthy Award

Excellence in Quality Management
LAX Central Utility Plant
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.