Charleston Air Force Base C-17 Facility / Paint Hangar

Charleston Air Force Base houses the 437th Airlift Wing, the unit responsible for flying and maintaining the C-17 Globemaster III. The C-17 is the newest and most flexible cargo aircraft in the Air Mobility Command airlift system.

Project Description: 

The Austin Company provided architectural design, engineering and construction services for this $18-million, 77,000 SF Corrosion Control Facility/Paint Hangar, which provides maintenance for the C-17 aircraft.

The hangar’s air-handling system is designed to move air horizontally across all portions of the aircraft surface at a minimum of 75 feet-per-minute, utilizing a near laminar horizontal airflow from nose to tail of the C-17 aircraft. An exhaust system removes paint fumes and filters paint particulate in accordance with the latest environmental regulations.

The DDC control system, which automatically adjusts fan supply and exhaust, provides a constant air volume and velocity over all surfaces undergoing the paint application process. The HVAC system is computer-controlled to maintain a minimum temperature at all times in the paint dock. In addition, sophisticated fan speed controls maintain a precise static pressure inside the paint dock, relative to the adjacent areas, and the exterior of the facility.

The hangar has a centralized process hot soap and a temperature-controlled high- pressure rinse water system for aircraft cleaning and paint preparation processes with soft-water treatment for all facility water. A high expansion foam fire protection system provides full hangar floor coverage with minimal environmental impact. The hangar and adjacent spaces are also protected by closed-head water sprinkler systems.

The hangar contains two telescoping man-lift platforms used to paint the aircraft. They provide technicians access to all aircraft surfaces during preparation and painting operations. The design includes accommodations for a future third man-lift.

This project was solicited, awarded, and executed utilizing The Austin Method®, Austin’s proprietary two-phase design-build approach. The U.S. Navy Facilities Engineering served as contracting officer for the USAF.

Project Stats: 

Square Footage: 77,000
Austin Services Provided: Design, Engineering, Construction


Charleston, South Carolina

Project Client: 

United States Air Force