HAS Spaceport Development – Design-Build

Mission Critical worked with the Joint Venture of Texas Sterling Construction and Banicki Construction (Texas Sterling-Banicki) and Lead Designer Kimley-Horn to win the Houston Airport System’s $24M Spaceport Development Design-Build contract. Throughout this three-stage procurement, we highlighted Texas-Sterling Banicki’s shared experience and working relationship as strengthened by their shared parent company, Sterling Construction Company. The scope of this aviation project includes the construction of 53,000 square feet of laboratory and office space on a 153-acre site, as well as roadways, parking, water, wastewater, electrical power and distribution, and communications facilities.

The City of Houston proposed this aerospace infrastructure project to help establish Texas as a national and international hub for commercial space transportation. The trends in the aerospace industry are shifting toward smaller launches with the rise of smaller satellites, an emerging suborbital space-tourism market, and a national security environment demanding speedy launch capability. In response to these changes in space transportation, this Houston Airport Systems project will construct a site at Ellington Airport (EFD) for commercial space-launch-vehicle operators to conduct horizontal take-off and horizontal landing of smaller reusable launch vehicles (RLVs).

EFD has approximately 2,600 acres of land with three active runways, eight active taxiways, and one active taxi lane. Runway 17R-35L is 9,001 feet (ft) long by 150 ft wide. Runway 17L-35R, the shortest runway, is 4,609 ft long by 75 ft wide. Runway 4-22, the crosswind runway, is 8,001 ft long by 150 ft wide. The crosswind runway is not certified under Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 139 for commercial use.

Mission Critical has worked with Texas Sterling, Banicki, and Design Engineer Kimley-Horne on similar procurements in the past, with a previous award of the $24M Houston Airport System Hardstand project.  

Mission Critical’s Impact

Due to the size and scope of this project that included vertical and horizontal construction in a technically challenging site area, Mission Critical advanced work through optimized planning and content development meetings to ensure the document reflected the team’s approach while exceeding compliance and document guidelines.

Mission Critical’s management of this pursuit minimized the overall time that Texas Sterling-Banicki and Kimley-Horn needed to allocate to the Technical Proposal itself. By working as an extension of staff to both the construction and design teams for content development, Mission Critical allowed the project team to focus on developing solid approaches, innovative ideas to mitigate risks, and a highly competitive cost proposal. As a result, the Texas Sterling-Banicki advanced through all three procurement stages to win this prestigious and exciting project.

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