Lilker is a multidisciplinary engineering firm headquartered in Manhattan, with offices on Long Island, Falls Church, VA, and Dallas, TX. Founded as Lilker Associates Consulting Engineers in 1985 by native Long Islander and Cooper Union alumnus Bruce Lilker, the 120-member firm offers mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection (MEP/FP) engineering design, as well as technology, lighting, special inspections, and energy and sustainability consulting services. Airport building systems design is among Lilker’s core practice areas, along with healthcare, K-12 and higher education, commercial, retail, and residential spaces.
Through a recent merger with national engineering company IMEG, Lilker is now part of a full-service engineering design, planning, and consulting group with 2,400 employees and 80 offices throughout the U.S. Ranked #57 on Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list and a Top 5, 100% Employee-owned Engineering Firm in the U.S. by Building Design + Construction, IMEG has delivered hundreds of renovation, expansion, upgrade, commissioning, and security projects at over 60 airports throughout the U.S.
“As part of the IMEG group of companies, we share a passion for transforming communities and the planet through high-performance design and infrastructure,” says Bruce Lilker. “We thrive on projects that push us to innovate solutions that meet the requirements of all stakeholders, maximizing facility efficiency and operation within budget.”
Lilker’s work for the New York City metropolitan airport system began post-9/11 with an FAA security project for the Boeing TSA Baggage Screening Program at JFK International Airport, which involved upgrading electrical power and adding heating and air conditioning systems to accommodate environmental conditions required by new baggage screening equipment in Terminals 1-9. Follow-on projects at JFK included the renovation of British Airways Terminal 7 to accommodate a new premium departures area and the renovation and expansion of Delta Air Lines’ new flagship Sky Club and its Salt Lake City International Airport counterpart.
Over a decade later and with a complete portfolio of projects at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia (LGA), and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports, Lilker is currently leading the mechanical and electrical engineering design for the firm’s largest-ever airport project: design/build of the new Terminal 6 at JFK Airport for JFK Millennium Partners and JetBlue Airway. This new 1.2 million-sq.-ft. terminal will include ten international gates with world-class amenities and services. The design includes more than 100,000 sq. ft. of commercial, dining, retail, lounges, and recreational spaces. To support a LEED Gold objective, the project will encompass many sustainable aspects, including photovoltaics, rainwater harvesting, and solar thermal systems. The goal is to provide an optimized and unified premium experience for customers, airlines, and tenants. AECOM Hunt is the construction manager for the project; Corgan is the primary architect.
Heading up Lilker’s team on the Terminal 6 project are Lilker Senior Vice President Dave Tanenbaum, PE, LEED AP, and Associate Principals Greg Socrates, CEM, Director, Infrastructure Systems; Santiago Cabo-Freixedas, PE, LEED BD+C, Director, Mechanical Department and Armis Ales, Director, Electrical Department. For the design engineers, one of the primary challenges is finding creative ways to distribute the MEP/FP systems throughout the narrow building footprint and very high, open public spaces that will enable high-end passenger experience and comfort. Another key consideration at JFK, says Greg Socrates, is the “need to create a 50-year design concept, building in flexibility and anticipating long-term passenger volume and needs, as well as the shifting energy landscape and requirements in New York City and State.”
Lilker’s engineers and technology group are also currently providing electrical and telecommunications design services for Clear Channel Advertising signage throughout the metropolitan airport system, as well as engineering services for American Airlines at EWR’s new Terminal A and the Chase Sapphire Club at JFK’s Terminal 4.
According to David Tanenbaum, the overall challenges of the JFK Terminal 6 project reflect those of most projects in the Metropolitan Airport System: the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s high standards for construction; the need for systems to support extremely high passenger volume; multipart phasing requirements due to limited land availability; and the inherent complexities of Public Private Partnerships and Design/Build delivery.