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Williston Basin International Airport


Williston, North Dakota has a history deeply rooted in the railroad and agriculture industries, but a surge of oil-related jobs has brought new people and new construction. Case in point is the Williston Basin International Airport. Completed in 2019, it features a people-friendly terminal that reflects the history of the Williston Basin. Dri-Design Wall Panels were utilized to create a cohesive, welcoming look both inside the terminal and out.

“We were asked to create a modern terminal building design that is rooted in the Williston Basin sense of place, with a focus on providing hospitality-oriented design and amenities for the traveling public,” says Stefan Balaz, AIA, LEED AP, associate, on behalf of the project’s architect, Minneapolis-based Alliiance. “Metal panels provide the long-term durability and low maintenance required by this building type. Bringing the metal to the interior was important for the overall expression of the architectural concept.”

MG McGrath, Maplewood, MN, installed 6,333 square feet of Dri-Design Wall Panels. The panels were provided in two types of finishes: Champagne painted and clear anodized. They were installed around narrow slot windows that were interspersed throughout. The exterior installation involved thermal girts installed over the weather-resistant barrier. The rainscreen cavity was filled with 5-inch mineral wool insulation, and the metal wall panels were mounted to the hat channels that run perpendicular from the girt.

The North Dakota weather tried to slow down the construction crews, particularly with a bulk of the install happening in the winter. But the project was completed on time with a MG McGrath crew that has used Dri-Design panels many times. Ilja Aljoskin, senior project manager with MG McGrath, says, “I like the ease of installation and project delivery with shop drawings being taken care of by Dri-Design.”

The 110,000-square-foot terminal building is a two-story structure with TSA checkpoints on the first level, with four gate lounges and a bar, restaurant and retail on the second level. The airport has two runways and can accommodate 350,000 passengers annually.

“Creating the patterns with the metal panel and experimenting with the colors and finishes were fun design challenges that ultimately created the design expression,” Balaz says.

Brad Zeeff, president of Dr-Design, adds, “Metal wall panels can be seen on many airports because of their durability and low maintenance. Our panels bring added value because they are a true rainscreen system with no tape, sealants or caulk. The result is a customized panel with improved performance and longevity on the exterior and a complimentary look and durability on the inside.”

About Dri-Design

DriDesign_logo_020511Dri-Design was founded in 1995 with the successful development of the Dri-Design® Wall Panel System. The system's panels can be installed over commercial-grade Tyvek onto plywood, or they can be used as a sophisticated outboard-insulation, pressure-equalized rainscreen. The 100% recyclable panels can be manufactured from a variety of materials, including zinc, copper, stainless steel, and painted and anodized aluminum. Panels are available in any Kynar color and are sized and detailed to meet the specific requirements of each project. Unique profiles include: Shadow, Tapered, Perforated, Embossed, Textured, Dri-Design® with Corian® EC, Imaging Technology and Inspire. These options create angles, textures, depth, images and performance that cannot be matched. The Dri-Design® Wall Panel System is Dade County and AAMA 508-07 approved. To learn more about the company's products, visit

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