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Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi

Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi

Design Excellence Award from Eastern Region, AFRCE, 1984

"Your professional drive to produce aesthetic excellence as well as technical excellence is commendable. The Maintenance Dock illustrates the Air Force's desire to improve architectural and engineering design excellence and will serve to improve morale and functional needs of Columbus AFB for years to come." ....Department of the Air Force.

Submitted by the Air Force to the Pentagon in their worldwide design awards program.


The project consisted of a 41,124 S.F., column free hangar space and a 6,864 S.F. shop and administration area. The hangar space was designed to provide simultaneous maintenance operations for seven T-38 and five T-46A aircraft.

KYCA provided construction administration as well as the construction sequence, temporary supports, etc. Design and construction documents for this fast track project were completed withih ten months.



  • The facility is located on the primary streets leading from the main gates of the base. Visibility is very high. A total facility design concept was implemented. This included the functional and visual aspects of architectural design as well as structural, mechanical and electrical considerations.
  • Precast wall panels in the exterior enhanced the structure. They were maintenance free and were compatible with other buildings in the vicinity. The appearance of the hangar diverted away from the conventional, utilitarian look.
  • Additionally, the structural system was creative, sound and sensible.
  • Construction materials are readily available on the market and do not require special skills or trades for construction.
  • As designed, the construction cost was only 73% of Government allocated budget.


Project Layout:

  • Ample aisle space enables the aircraft to be towed in and out of the hangar without interrupting ongoing aircraft maintenance work.
  • An approach apron is located at each end of the hangar for easy access.
  • Overhead fire drapes crisscross the center of the building, dividing the hangar into four fire zones. A foam (AFFF) system was utilized to suppress fire.
  • Parking for 20 privately owned vehicles (POV) is also included in this project.
  • In the hangar space, three self-stabilized, space frame, box type trusses are used; one at each end and one at the center of the building. The box type trusses support gravity loads as well as provide lateral stability for the building. The vertical portion of the box type truss at the ends of the building also function as door pockets. Long span, open web, steel joists are utilized to span between box trusses. This results in a flushed bottom structure without wasting building volume. The projected portion of the box trusses above the roof line create an interesting structural shape and enhance aesthetics.


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