Austin Convention Center Marshalling Yard and Warehouse

Austin, TX

Austin Convention Center Marshalling Yard and Warehouse

Owner: City of Austin
Architect: PGAL

Project Team

The Austin Convention Center hosts more than 300 events each year. Deliveries to stock these events has become more and more difficult as Austin’s population and subsequent traffic have continued to grow in the popular city. To combat these issues, the City of Austin signed up the design-build SpawGlass/PGAL team to design and construct a new marshalling yard to accommodate event deliveries and serve as an overflow option for emergency situations such as natural disasters.

Completed in July 2022, the marshalling yard project site occupies 44 acres near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, providing ample space for the City to facilitate event deliveries for the Austin Convention Center.The complex features a 70,000-square-foot, tilt-wall warehouse with a 1,200-square-foot mezzanine level. The warehouse interior boasts approximately 5,000 square feet of office space and conference rooms, 2,000 square feet of secured storage, a 1,200-square-foot maintenance shop, four sunken loading docks and three at-grade loading dock spaces. The marshalling yard itself consists of 112 18-wheeler spaces across 12 acres of heavy-duty 9-inch concrete paving.

In times of crisis, the marshalling yard will operate as an emergency response shelter. Among its many features, the warehouse alone can host up to 1,500 occupants with the capability to provide internal and external power. If necessary, the 12-acre paved parking area can be utilized as additional occupiable space. For those seeking refuge alongside their pets, a 2,500-square-foot drivers’ lounge/security building near the marshalling yard’s front entrance can be converted into kennel space.

Work began on the marshalling yard project on December 2, 2020. Throughout the project’s duration, several challenges were overcome by the team. During the early design phase of the project, plans were submitted to Austin Energy for their use to complete the primary and secondary power designs. These plans were required to design and install the required power infrastructure, which included multiple power poles, wire and the main transformer.

Due to the lead times and phasing requirements of Austin Energy, it took 20 weeks for the poles to be set and another 20 weeks to connect power to the main transformer. During the weeks of limited power, the SpawGlass team utilized temporary construction power to ensure no time was wasted.

Another project hurdle centered on the marshalling yard’s floodplain. SpawGlass team members discovered that the original project plan was not properly aligned with current FEMA 500-year floodplain map regulations. As a result of the team’s discovery, several major alterations were made to the project’s design. These changes led to the inclusion of various landscaping treatments such as the planting of more than 26,000 seedlings, the removal of various invasive fauna, soil decompaction and the addition of scattered wooden debris.

Project Manager Ryan Syring said the reception of the successful LEED Silver project has been overwhelmingly positive and strengthened the bonds between the City of Austin and the SpawGlass Austin Division. The marshalling yard project is a testament to our dedication to providing the absolute best construction experience and positively impacting the communities in which we live and work. “

This facility can have an impact throughout Texas or even past it,” Ryan said. “This will be a place where people can come and get their lives back. To be part of something like that, especially as a design-build job, is amazing.”

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