SFO Grand Hyatt; SFO Grand Hyatt;

Grand Hyatt at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California

New world-class hotel will serve SFO travelers for decades to come

As SFO’s only on-site hotel, the new Grand Hyatt at SFO connects directly to AirTrain, the airport’s automated people mover. Floor-to-ceiling windows open out to the international terminal with 747s visible outside. Arup, working in collaboration with Hornberger+Worstell Architects/ED2I and Webcor Builders, helped successfully deliver this challenging design-build project, which accepted its first guests on 1 October 2019.

Our scope included structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design services for the 12-story hotel, including the bridge that connects the building to the AirTrain station. Continuing our long-standing relationship with SFO, we collaboratively delivered this world-class hotel that will serve SFO travelers for decades to come.

Encompassing 270,000 gross ft2, the new hotel offers abundant conference space, a restaurant, health facilities, and several other amenities. As a key collaborator with SFO and part of the design-build team with Webcor and Hornberger + Worstell/ED2I, Arup contributed to the project’s success through our multidisciplinary design expertise, integration, and consistent on-site support and problem solving.

Project Summary

351 guest rooms

14,435ft²flexible event space


Shaping the structure

The building site was formerly home to an outdated low-rise hotel, which had since been demolished to make way for a parking lot. The new hotel is a post-tensioned concrete flat slab structure with concrete columns and shear walls. The curved, elongated shape of the hotel provided the most significant design challenge requiring unique tuning of the three elevator/stair cores to resist seismic demands. 

The building is founded on augercast piles to alleviate any concerns of settlement due to liquefaction. Similar to our work on the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, the piles were drilled through the liquefiable layer, so that in the event of an earthquake, the building would experience minimal settlement.

Structurally, to maintain the rigorous schedule, we worked tirelessly to ensure we were never a bottleneck and provided quick and creative solutions to field challenges as they occurred. ”

Kion Nemati Kion Nemati Arup structural engineer on the project

Mastering MEP challenges

The mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems were designed in compliance with Hyatt’s rigorous standards, with several additional features to help save energy and water consumption. 

An energy-efficient four-pipe system serves the guest rooms, while the kitchen, ballrooms, and conference rooms each utilize demand control ventilation. The server and electrical rooms feature a chilled water system and water-side economizer to provide free cooling to the space. Occupancy sensors are used to automatically power down lighting, heating, and cooling in unoccupied guestrooms and other areas. A 90-kW photovoltaic panel array on the roof is expected to produce 133,000 kWh annually or roughly 4% of the hotel’s annual electricity use. All of this will ultimately result in a 20% energy-efficiency improvement annually compared to typical hotel consumption. 

Our team implemented a more efficient water flow design with lower water consuming plumbing features to decrease the total water consumption by more than 40% over a standard building design. This will result 6,700,000 gallons of water saved each year. Additionally, a dual plumbing system was installed to facilitate the use of reclaimed water in the future.

SFO Grand Hyatt exterior SFO Grand Hyatt exterior