Duncan Aviation’s New, Larger Maintenance Hangar Goes ‘Green’

LINCOLN, NEB — More companies across the globe are going “green” and saving money on operating costs in the process.

Duncan Aviation’s senior team knows preventing physical waste, increasing energy efficiency and improving productivity saves money for the company and Duncan Aviation customers. That is why they chose environmentally friendly options that also cut costs when building the company’s new maintenance hangar facility in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Next month, Duncan Aviation will complete the largest expansion project its Lincoln location has ever seen. The 175,000-square-foot facility will be comprised of two 40,000-square-foot maintenance hangars and a 95,000-square-foot office and shop space.

The expansion comes in response to customer requests and changing customer needs. As the industry continues to shift toward larger business aircraft, a trend fueled by technological advances and increased globalization, Duncan Aviation’s current hangars are unable to accommodate the volume of maintenance, modifications and completions work our European and other customers require.

“We decided to build now because we needed the hangar space to properly support the size and number of aircraft we’re working on and will continue to work on,” says Chief Operating Officer Jeff Lake. “We anticipated this trend, which is why we invested in a new paint facility two years ago. It was now time to support the maintenance side.”

While planning the investment in its new, larger hangar facility, Duncan Aviation’s senior team wanted to ensure it was top of the line, just like the aircraft services provided inside its walls. That priority also aligned well with the company’s desire to make “green” decisions whenever possible.

“Things that are good for the environment are good for our employees, and that translates into an excellent experience for customers as well,” says Lake.

Kyle Link, Tectonic Management Group, Inc.’s designer/builder senior project manager for the expansion says Duncan Aviation chose materials and design elements that are a new concept in hangar environment. From the LED lighting that senses daylight and automatically dims itself to the radiant floor heating, it’s state of the art.

“You can’t cost-effectively dim fluorescent lights, so you’d have to shut off individual bulbs,” Link says. “But with the LED lights, you can gradually dim, saving energy and making the difference less apparent to team members. Combine that with the skylights and windows we added, and it’s brighter in the hangar with all the lights off than any of the other hangars with every bulb lit.”

The new hangar takes advantage of all the natural light possible, starting with 144 10-foot skylight sections. While the skylights are just two feet wide, because the material is prismatic, by the time that light reaches the bay floor, it covers six or eight feet and distributes the light so team members don’t end up working in a hot spot, says Link.
Each hangar door also has a 15-foot double layer sidewall daylight panels to let in more light without affecting the interior temperature.

Heating and cooling the bays can also be a challenge, especially in extreme weather when the doors open and close on a regular basis, letting new aircraft in and delivering completed projects. Therefore, the senior team opted for radiant floor heat with insulation around the perimeter’s foundation and advanced insulation strategies in the walls and roof to help keep the heat in on cold winter days.

“In a hangar, you’re really only interested in the heat in the first eight or 10 feet, so to heat the ground and let it rise instead of heating the air and pushing it down just makes sense,” says Link. “The bay will also recover a lot faster after opening the hangar door, which is much more comfortable for the team members working on the floor.”

Many of the options in the hangar go above and beyond the energy code, which was a deliberate choice.

“It was really an easy decision to invest a bit more up front and do what’s right for our environment, especially if it means we’ll save money in the long run,” says Lake. “With as quickly as technology changes, we need to be a bit ahead of the game.”

To view photos and a timelapse video of the maintenance hangar’s construction process, click here.

For more information, please visit or stop by Duncan Aviation at stand #4634 at EBACE 2014 held May 20-22 in Geneva, Switzerland.

About Duncan Aviation

Duncan Aviation is an aircraft service provider supporting the aviation needs of government and business operators and other service providers. Services include major and minor airframe inspections, engine maintenance, major retrofits for cabin and cockpit systems, full paint and interior services, and preowned aircraft sales and acquisitions. Duncan Aviation also has international aircraft components solutions experts available 24/7/365 at +1 402.475.4125 who can handle any aircraft system problem with immediate exchanges, rotables, loaners or avionics/instrument/accessory repairs and overhauls. Complete service facilities are located in Battle Creek, Michigan; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Provo, Utah. We also have dozens of other facilities strategically located throughout the United States to provide customers with regional support and the quickest response possible to avionics, engine and airframe Aircraft On Ground (AOG) situations.

For more information about any of Duncan Aviation’s services, call +1 402.475.2611 or visit