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Design Review Committee - Frequently Asked Questions


Liz Iriart
Design Review Committee coordinator

Committee Members

Blake Summers (SFO)

Nupur Sinha (SFO)

Katy Mercer (WoodsBagot)

Mei Mei Chan (MEI Architects)



By appointments only
SFO PM contacts Liz Iriart

674 West Field Road, Level 2, Room 2B

Frequently asked questions

  1. How many design review meetings are required per project?

The number of meetings required varies considerably depending on the scale of the project, which can range from interior improvements to entire terminal remodels. At the DRC’s discretion, some follow-up changes can be made via email.

  1. What should be presented at each meeting?

Demolition and construction projects will require several meetings for approval; aim to present only one or two related areas per session. Each area should be presented separately once the overall design concept has been established. Examples of different areas are exterior façade airside, exterior façade landside, restroom spaces/all gender/companion care/pet relief, holdrooms and children play area, or ceiling and floor finishes.  Expect to present the same areas at various stages of the project such as schematic design (SD), Design Development (DD), construction documentation (CD), and during construction with new refinements and material finishes.

Tenant improvement interior projects should meet with the DRC upon award of contract or during the conceptual phase to establish expectations, opportunities, and challenges early. Plan to get approval of the design prior to starting CD phase. At the DRC’s discretion, they will work with the tenant to approve parts of the design and progress documentation and construction if necessary to keep up schedule.

Temporary or pilot installation/construction projects will require DRC approval. If an approved temporary use or location is changed, a separate approval is required. SFO Project managers should involve the DRC during the conceptual phase to establish location and desired aesthetic.

Lastly, provide documentation to the DRC with final approved design proposal, finishes, and furniture for record keeping.

  1. What are SFO guidelines and standards?

There are several SFO standards and guidelines accessible online or via the SFO Project Manager. Teams need to demonstrate adherence to the standards and guidelines, then articulate unique solutions for constrained areas for DRC to comment. This includes, but not limited to, the following documents:

SFO Concession Tenant Design Guidelines


SFO Delivering Exceptional Projects

SFO Sustainability Planning Design and Construction Guidelines

SFO Temporary Construction Standards

SFO Furniture Design Guidelines

SFO Lighting Design Guidelines

SFO Restroom Design Guidelines

SFO Way-finding standards

SFO Service Animal Relief Design Guidelines

SFO Exterior Reference Guide

SFO Garage Exterior Guide



  1. What materials should be include in the presentation?

DRC’s ability to approve a proposal quickly depends heavily on how thoroughly a project is documented and presented. Clear and concise presentations are key. The examples below provide a good overview of presentation materials to share with the DRC. In addition, any unique project features and constraints will determine what supplementary materials the project team needs to prepare.

  • SFO Approved Lease outline - dimensions, leasable square footage, utility connections, and clearances from circulation or adjacent facilities (for tenants)
  • Existing condition documentation - dimensioned plans, section and photographs
  • Proposed design – dimensioned plans, section and 3d renderings
  • Proposed design exterior – 3d renderings, elevations and details
  • Proposed design interior - 3d renderings, elevations and details
  • Proposed signage and graphic documentation – wayfinding signs/dashboards, tenant signs, menu boards and large graphics
  • Proposed reflected ceiling plan – lighting concept, dimensioned plans, fixtures and relation to base building fixtures if any
  • Proposed digital display - dimensioned layout, content, and advertising proposals
  • Proposed finishes
  • Proposed cut sheet information – fixtures, furniture, equipment, and furnishings