The San Diego International Airport’s new consolidated Rental Car Center was built to house up to 19 rental car companies and more than 5,400 rental cars while easing traffic on San Diego’s busy Harbor Drive and reducing the airport’s carbon footprint.

T.B. Penick was originally brought onto the project to install 70,000 square feet of site concrete, 1,300 linear feet of curbs and gutters, and large poured-in-place concrete bench planters. However, when a last-minute issue arose over the maintenance of the architect’s specified fluid-applied flooring, Penick was requested to come up with a decorative solution that could stand up to the foot traffic and dirt that the originally specified flooring couldn’t handle for the 20,000-square-foot exterior plaza.

The solution was a surface-seeded, indelibly colored and honed polished concrete that’s easy to maintain and could handle the type of foot traffic that is common for a facility the size of the Rental Car Center. The main challenge was that Penick had only 90 days to match the previously approved exterior mock-up colors and to match the interior terrazzo finishes.

Within the first 45 days Penick fine-tuned the integral colors as well as the desired aggregate mixes and choice of topical sealer based on the architect’s design intent and delivered mock ups that were well-received. Once the mock ups were approved, the difficult task of meeting the project’s deadline required Penick’s crews to work overtime and weekends. Despite the challenges, the project was completed on time.