Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport Restroom Renovations and Improvements
Project Type

With 51 unique floor plans, multiple contractors, and the integration of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work, this is one of the Division of Aviation’s most complex programs.  


As part of its continuous commitment to enhancing the guest experience, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has been modernizing passenger-facing restrooms since 2012. Goals for the multi-million-dollar program include improving quality and comfort, accommodating more travelers, and implementing sustainability measures. To minimize disruption at the busy airport, the program was divided into seven phases.   



Restrooms in Phases 1 and 2, first renovated about nine years ago, were refreshed. The goal was to make four sets of restrooms in the concourse of Terminals B and C more comfortable and visually appealing to travelers, while increasing energy and water efficiency for facilities that average 7,000 flushes per day. Tasks encompassed planning and design of dynamic new layouts, finishes, and custom millwork.

The renovated restrooms feature sustainable design elements like efficient low-flow faucets and toilets, LED light fixtures with daylight and occupancy sensing, increased ventilation, and use of recycled content. Artwork by local artists on the concourse-facing walls orients travelers to entrances and brightens the concourse.



Phase 3 focused on improvements to 11 sets of restrooms at Gates F-31 and F-25, Terminals D and E ticketing and Terminal D baggage claim. Phase 4 added a public handwashing station outside of a restroom, two service animal relief areas, and an adult changing/nursing mother’s room. The latter was informed by a study led by KMA designers who are also mothers. 

Phase 3 was completed in spring 2021, and Phase 4 will conclude by the end of 2022. Planning and design for Phases 5 through 7 is complete.



To achieve high-quality outcomes, KMA coordinated the new architecture with existing conditions; addressed security, mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems for improved energy efficiencies; and phased the construction in heavily used areas. 

There were also opportunities for innovation. Together with Burns Engineering, KMA assisted PHL’s team with their “smart restroom” pilot project. For two sets of restrooms, we revised bid documents to include a monitoring and notification system using data-collecting sensors embedded in stall lights and touchless equipment such as flushometers; faucets; and towel, toilet paper, and soap dispensers.  Monitors at restroom entrances tracked usage, and an integrated system to gather user feedback rounded out the effort by PHL to improve the guest experience and provide maintenance and custodial services with timely and relevant information.    

kelair03 b
kelair02 a

Photo/Image credits:  Halkin | Mason Photography