PDX Rental Car Quick Turn-Around Facility

Rental Car Quick Turn-Around (QTA) facilities are an innovative—and still fairly unusual—building type, with only about dozen in the country. A successful QTA facility efficiently and safely fuels and cleans rental cars to meet the current demands of airport customers, while being able to accommodate future growth. They are logistically complicated projects that require an in-depth understanding of traffic flow, operational function, airport safety protocol, and fueling.

For Portland International Airport’s new QTA facility, Mackenzie was able to efficiently address these aspects, and in a sustainable manner: ENVISION certification has been targeted, with sustainable features including water reuse for car washes and rainwater collection.

We approach the construction process strategically, and, with careful planning, we’re able to anticipate issues. For the QTA facility, we were able to shift the building five feet to accommodate system construction, and allow the current de-icing line operation to remain in its current location. This adjustment saved about one and a half million dollars in construction costs.

Mackenzie’s landscape architecture team played an important project role, and developed a unique and expressive solution to a complex set of issues. The design needed to address security from within the facility, visual screening of car service elements at the ground level, and provide a pleasing aesthetic that blended with surrounding airport buildings and grounds. The resulting landscape element features a series of subtle rolling berms of native plant species set against a background of rustic steel accents that complement existing PDX design features. The berms rise gently from the existing traffic right of way to obscure high security concrete walls, fueling activities, and truck delivery access points.

Because of its unique nature, local building codes didn’t anticipate the needs of a typical QTA facility. It took a coordinated effort by our design team to negotiate the code with the City of Portland’s building department and fire marshal: the code only allowed for 4 fueling stations, while the facility needed 76. Mackenzie’s design provided enhanced safety features above and beyond the code minimum, and the project was approved by the City of Portland on the first appeal.