Check out our top 12 construction time-lapse videos

Today, we’re taking a step back (and up) to offer a unique perspective on some of our most complex projects. Building anything new often takes several years, but nothing accelerates the construction process like a time-lapse video to transform a project before your eyes. The videos below highlight the conversion of an empty space or hole in the ground into something meaningful and impressive.

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Oculus

In 2016, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened in downtown Manhattan, the culmination of our 15-year journey in restoring and enhancing transportation access to Lower Manhattan. Our team fabricated and erected the hub’s “Oculus” – a Santiago Calatrava-designed structure comprised of approximately 11,500 tons of structural steel consisting of portals, arches and rafters that combined give the structure a unique shape similar to a bird in flight. To erect the Oculus, we used two highly specialized tower cranes manufactured explicitly for this unique project. The Oculus is the centerpiece of the new hub and will serve more than 250,000 pedestrians per day as the primary link for access to New Jersey PATH trains and 11 New York City subway lines. More than a national symbol, the Oculus is a global icon that symbolizes the successful rebirth of Downtown Manhattan.

99M Street, SE

In Washington, D.C., our team is developing and building 99M Street, SE, an 11-story, 234,000-square-foot Class A office building in Washington’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood just steps from the Washington Nationals Ballpark. Located at the corner of 1st and M Streets, this prime office space will include a green roof and rooftop terrace, a club-grade fitness facility, secure bicycle storage and four levels of underground parking. The complex excavation for 99M began in November 2015 and nearly 500 construction workers have dedicated approximately 51,200 work hours to complete the excavation and foundation work this month. As part of the excavation process 34,000 cubic yards of soil and rock were removed from the site, enough to fill more than 10 Olympic-size pools.

The New York Wheel

In Staten Island, we completed the foundation for the New York Wheel, a 630-foot observation wheel that will rise over the southern end of New York Harbor and provide unique views of the Manhattan skyline. Our team executed two massive concrete placements for the observation wheel pile caps. Each placement saw nearly 4,000 cubic yards of 10,000 psi, self-consolidating concrete that was placed continuously over 14 hours.

Fore River Bridge

In Quincy, Massachusetts, our team transported a custom-built span from a shipyard down the Weymouth Fore River on a custom-built barge to the Fore River Bridge. Then, the nearly three million pounds of steel was lifted approximately 60 feet and installed between the two existing towers as the outgoing tide lowered it into place. A crucial factor was timing the ride of the river, which moves up and down as much as eight feet. The moving tide was necessary for floating in and properly placing the new span.

Philadelphia International Airport

After six months of detailed planning and coordination, we erected a 91,000-pound, 100-foot-long pre-assembled baggage conveyor bridge over the main airport departure road in less than eight hours. The work took place in the middle of the night to minimize any potential disruption to airport operations.

Capitol Tower

In Houston, our 35-story Capitol Tower office project – which is currently under development – started with a 19-hour, 20-minute concrete pour to create a mat foundation that varies between seven and nine-and-a-half feet thick. Our planning and execution of this 9,020 cubic-yard continuous pour was so precise that the actual duration was within three minutes of what we originally planned.

Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

In Miami, we are building the state-of-the-art, 280,000-SF, multi-use science and technology museum, planetarium and aquarium being constructed in Museum Park in the Greater Miami Downtown area. The 500,000-gallon aquarium required a continuous concrete pour that took 24 hours and 49 minutes. This pour sets the foundation for the Gulf Stream Tank that will be home to a number of deep-sea species viewable from both top and bottom.

Recently, we installed a 31-foot, 13-inch thick, 60,000-pound viewing oculus in a complex crane operation that required five years of planning.

Second Avenue Subway

In New York City, our crews dug two-and-a-half miles of tunnels and caverns, set the tracks and installed the communications network for the Second Avenue Subway, which will move an estimated 200,000 people a day. The new line runs from East 63rd Street to East 96th Street connecting with midtown Manhattan and beyond. Excavations for the 86th Street station required the removal of 450,000 tons of material in order to create a subterranean “launch box” or starting point where the tunnel boring machine (TBM) could be assembled and begin its work.

MetLife Stadium

In East Rutherford, New Jersey, we built MetLife Stadium, one of the most sustainable and technologically advanced open-air stadiums with seats for close to 85,000 spectators. The stadium is home for the New York Giants and the New York Jets, which makes it the first facility built specifically to accommodate two U.S. National Football League (NFL) teams. Incorporating innovative methods both in the construction of the facility and in its design, our team worked in collaboration with both franchises to cater to the needs of two different teams.

Tampa International Airport (TIA)

In Tampa, Florida, our team is currently at work on our $130 million portion of the $1 billion Tampa International Airport (TIA) redevelopment plan, which includes the main terminal building expansion, construction of a new car rental facility and the new automated people mover. Last summer, our team unveiled the east side of the expansion, including two new restaurants, glass curtain walls and new, more modern finishes.

LaGuardia Airport

In New York, we are leading the design and construction of LaGuardia Airport through an innovative public-private partnership (PPP), which is the largest in the United States. With our partners, we will design, build, operate and maintain the Central Terminal B facility. Right now, multiple phases of work are being performed on site. The P-2 parking garage demolition has been completed, clearing the way for pile driving and foundation work on the new airport terminal building.

Have a cool project coming up that could make for an interesting time-lapse video? Contact us at

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

More Posts - Website

What upgauging means for airport design

The air travel world is entering a period of dramatic transformation, thanks to significant internal changes (including mergers and acquisitions) and external changes, such as rising fuel costs and new technologies. Not only will tomorrow’s airlines and airplanes need to be different to adapt to this shifting environment, but airports will need to evolve too.

One key change is that in responding to higher fuel costs, technological advancements and shifting travel markets, airlines have increasingly been “upgauging” to larger jets, rendering the previously favored smaller, regional jets uneconomical. Compared to the 50- to 100-seat regional jets, larger planes like the Boeing 737-800 and the Airbus 321 are far more fuel efficient and provide better value in terms of seat-miles for airlines. It’s clear that the upgauging trend will have lasting impacts on the industry, especially where it comes to airport design.


Airport owners will need to rethink the layouts of their facilities in order to stay ahead of the upgauging trend. Terminals at smaller airports designed for slim regional jets, with gates close together, will need to be reconfigured to accommodate airlines’ new fleets. They will also likely require new jet bridges that can accommodate larger planes and connect them to terminals.

However, it is not just what happens on the tarmac that will have to be redesigned, but also the interior layout of terminals. Internal corridor space will have to be re-sized to handle the increased number of passengers disembarking from the larger planes. Passenger hold areas will have to increase in size to accommodate the greater number of passengers on each flight. Concession areas will have to expand as well to serve the additional travelers, and to help defray the costs of renovations. Without these changes, it will become more difficult for airlines to serve outdated airports, likely resulting in less service – something that is a loss for airlines, passengers and cities.

Major airports, home to specialized regional terminals that may retain that service for the time being, will have to make design changes as well, as forward-looking airport authorities will opt to create flexible spaces that can be sustained over many stages of industry evolution. As airlines continue to move towards bigger, more-fuel efficient jets, airport design will continue to evolve along with it.

As builders and providers of facility solutions, we are constantly seeking ways to assist our aviation clients in meeting their business goals. We work hard to understand the factors that are affecting our clients’ businesses, so we can be their partner in developing solutions.

MacAdam Glinn

MacAdam Glinn

Skanska USA Vice President - Aviation Center of Excellence National Director

More Posts - LinkedIn

Bringing the joy back to flying

Those of us who are a little older remember a time when it was a treat to take a trip.  The fact that those days are long gone has almost become a cliché – jokes about tight airplane seats and crowded airports have been around for a while now. Today, as we celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Wright Brother’s first flight, it’s incredible to consider the transformation airports and aviation have undergone over the last century. Since the first commercial airline flight in 1914 (a 23 minute flight between St. Petersburg, Florida and Tampa with a pilot and one passenger) aviation has grown exponentially. There are now 41,821 airports in the world and close to 3 billion people flew in 2012.

The pace of growth does not seem to be slowing.  In today’s market of tight margins, airlines want to turn planes around faster than ever. Major airports have filled all the landing and takeoff slots their field’s can handle. Changes in the ways passengers handle baggage and security have not been matched by new facilities to make the passenger experience more efficient.

Skanska Seattle Tacoma

U.S. airport modernizing

After years of planning and gathering the need approval of funding for improvements, airports are starting to try and catch up to the industry and make much needed improvements to their facilities. While developing areas of the world such as China and the Middle East build brand new airports, here in the United States, major hubs are looking at projects that should improve the passenger experience, while also addressing the operational needs of airports and the carriers that use them.

Los Angeles International Airport provides a fine example. One of our nation’s busiest international hubs, the bulk of the airport facilities were built in 1961. While terminal modernization is under way, a key planned project is the Midfield Satellite Concourse. This facility will support current flight operations, but in a 21st century setting. The upshot is that once this new facility is complete, LAX will have the gate capacity to shift flights out of older terminals so those facilities can be upgraded. It’s an all-around win for all users of the airport.

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport is another example in which recent upgrades to the B concourse now align the airport with current air service trends. Smaller jets now have a concourse designed and built with their needs in mind. The new 225,000-square-foot facility is nearly four times the size of the existing space. The space features expanded gate lounge space, concessions and restroom facilities.

Another area of focus is power – more specifically, making it available to passengers and their electronic devices.  There have been many improvements aimed at making these power sources more availabvle, and they are being incorporated into many larger projects. Some facilities are teaming with airlines to do even more, providing stations with wall outlets and tablet computers for travelers.

Role of builders

As builders, we know none of these improvements can happen in a void. No airport is going to shut operations in order to perform renovations. It’s our job to work with our clients to ensure construction work does not disrupt flight operations or the passenger experience. Builders, though, can get involved in the process early on to help advise airports, airlines and designers on how to head off any potential issues.

It is exciting to be a part of the efforts to modernize the spaces that facilitate air travel . Hopefully in the process we can start breaking down some of the unpleasantness and stereotypes that have really dampened peoples’ interest in flying.

Jim Clemens

Jim Clemens

Skanska USA Executive Vice President and National Director of Aviation Center of Excellence

More Posts - Website - LinkedIn

At JFK airport, using 3-D modeling to develop solutions

New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is one of the busiest airports in the world, with more than 45 million passengers streaming through its terminals. It’s very challenging to work amidst all of those people and the planes that carry them about without disturbing any aspects of this mini-city – not impacting ongoing operations is an essential part of airport construction.

Building information modeling (BIM) helped us successfully navigate this complex environment while doing the foundation work as part of the team for the JFK’s Checked Baggage Inspection System project. With BIM, we provided the owner with a 21 percent savings from the original design cost, shortened the schedule by three weeks and provided a safe job site in which there were no lost-time accidents.


Skanska’s work included driving 152 foundation piles. Our use of BIM stemmed from a vexing challenge: 42 of the 152 piles required for this project needed to be driven underneath and just six inches from the tapered cantilever glass wall of the existing, operating terminal. Additionally, airplane wings would be just feet from Skanska’s pile driving rigs as the jets taxied about. We needed a smart solution to help us successfully and safely deliver our portion of the project.

bim 2

Here are four ways BIM benefited this project:

1. Visualizing solutions: We were able to digitally visualize different alternatives for driving different types of piles. Model visualization – whether it be simple views or the ability to walk through or fly around the virtual project – offers new opportunities to communicate and collaborate, which leads to better decisions. At JFK, we were able to visualize what length and what kinds of piles could be used without having to drill a single hole.

2. Evaluating alternatives: Alternatives can be more easily understood and evaluated in terms of cost and other project parameters. BIM helped us evaluate an approach based on non-standard Tapertubes versus pipe piles. (Tapertubes differ from standard piles in that they have a tapered tip.)

3. Sustainability analysis: An additional benefit of using Tapertubes is that they offer a greener solution, requiring less steel, less concrete and less welding – significant energy and emissions savings resulted from this approach.

4. Improved safety performance: Using BIM means an increased focus on planning before physical construction takes place. By investing the time and effort to determine in a detailed way how the job will be carried out, this ensures everybody knows what to do and expect, reducing the potential for accidents. Additionally, the  team can examine the virtual project and determine hazards before they occur and plan how to handle them, or engineer them out altogether.

Alex Filotti

Alex Filotti

Project manager, Underpinning and Foundation Skanska

More Posts - Website - LinkedIn