Customer Services Training Center
The Boeing Company
Renton, WA

Construction Cost: $69 Million

Size: 580,000 SF

The facility includes 10 full-flight simulators and 18 fixed-bay maintenance simulators.

Boeing received a $500,000 Energy Smart Design Incentive from Bonneville Power Administration for energy saving features.


For airline customers who purchase, maintain, and fly Boeing airplanes, a new three-story, 580,000 SF flight training center was built. Wood Harbinger provided analysis, design, construction administration, and commissioning for HVAC, plumbing, electrical power, communications services, and lighting.

The facility includes ten full-flight simulators and 18 fixed-bay/ maintenance simulators. It also includes large atrium/reception area, conference center, full service cafeteria with kitchen and dining areas, a sophisticated A/V studio to create and edit visuals for flight simulators, several computer rooms to support and control simulators, a technical/ management services center, physical conditioning area, classrooms, lounges, and office areas.

Because of the size and the density of its automated components, the training center interior rarely requires heat. Instead, cooling is the constant challenge for the mechanical system.

To meet these specialized demands, there are two separate chilled water loops serving the facility, one for the building, and one for the computer room cooling units. Wood Harbinger designed variable speed pumps on both of the cooling loops. This, along with heat recovery systems and other energy-saving features, earned Boeing a $500,000 Smart Design program of the Bonneville Power Administration.

The flow of air and water to ventilate, cool, and occasionally heat the building is controlled by 4,500 separate sensors, each receiving and sending signals, controlling valves and dampers, and responding to temperature and pressure.

Direct digital controls monitor all of the mechanical systems. The main floor areas are protected with sprinkler systems. There is a carbon dioxide suppression system for the sensitive computer spaces between floors, and an individual “pre-action” system for each full-flight simulator cabin.

The new training center houses Boeing’s full-flight simulators which brought new challenges for the transfer and refilling of hydraulic fluid. The simulators are controlled with hydraulic pressure, and the fluid must be periodically replaced. Wood Harbinger devised a system whereby the fluid is piped into the building and held in its own tank until used. Waste fluid, in turn, is held in another large tank until it is disposed of. The system has saved long-term labor and wear-and-tear for the facility.

Key words for the power supply at the Boeing Customer Service Training Center, are “redundancy and reliability.” The building is served by two feeders, each of which can serve the whole building should the other fail. The power supply is also divided into two electrical systems for different kinds of loads: computers and motors. This is designed to spare computers “dips and blips” in power. The division extends into the office space, with some outlets serving PC’s and others designated for utilities such as coffee makers and “electronically noisy loads” like vacuum cleaners.

The classrooms include projectors, monitors, sound, and lighting that are controlled both by the instructor and students. Fiber optic cables provide communication to the classrooms