California's airports LEED the way in green design as Sacramento becomes latest to achieve efficiency certification
Sacramento's LEED Silver-certified Terminal B (photo: SCAS)
Tue 8 May 2012 – Sacramento International has become the latest airport in California to be awarded LEED Silver Certification by the US Green Building Council for its new $1.03 billion Terminal B modernisation project that opened last October. Both Terminal B’s public, pre-security building and the airside, post-security concourse met LEED Silver requirements for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality, says the airport authority, which claims it is the largest airport terminal in the United States to achieve Silver status. The terminal project, dubbed ‘The Big Build’, was designed by Corgan Associates in association with Fentress Architects, which also designed Mineta San Jose International Airport’s Terminal B that achieved LEED Silver in June 2010.
Features of the Sacramento terminal include extensive use of day-lighting with dimmable fluorescent and LED lighting, a heat-reflecting cool roof with energy-efficient glass and exterior shade devices that block solar heat to reduce air conditioning, a combined heat and power co-generation plant and low-flush fixtures and automatic water fixtures throughout.
The energy efficiency measures have already paid off as the authority received a $150,000 rebate from the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in January as a result of exceeding state energy code requirements by 25%. SMUD estimates the terminal’s efficiencies will yield a greenhouse reduction of 793 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent, it claims, of planting more than 33,000 trees.
“We designed Terminal B to use best practices in environmental design as well as to be cost-effective in the long run,” said Hardy Acree, Director of Airports.
LEED certification is an internationally-recognised, independently-verified benchmark for high-performance green efficiencies for buildings, with Silver representing the third tier after Platinum and Gold.
Added Acree: “Achieving LEED Silver certification on two buildings this large, with such intense daily public use, speaks to the vision and collaboration of the airport and its partners.”
Outside the terminal, nine acres (3.6ha) of asphalt parking have been restored back to landscape and natural habitat and the landscaping is now irrigated by groundwater rather than potable water. Reclaimed redwood from a demolished bridge has been incorporated into the terminal’s central ceiling.
“Sacramento’s achievement of LEED Silver certification is a shining example of the green building and sustainability concepts that airports across North America have been implementing to minimise airport environmental impacts while improving the overall passenger experience,” said Greg Principato, President of Airports Council International-North America.
In March 2010, Oakland Airport’s Terminal 2 became the first airport passenger terminal in the United States to achieve LEED Silver certification. Last December, San Francisco International’s new T2 was awarded the first LEED Gold to an airport terminal in the United States.
Last month, LEED Silver was awarded to the Port of Seattle Commission for the design, construction and operation of the new consolidated Rental Car Facility at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the largest such facility in the United States to be certified at this level.
“We can build a sustainable future while we create jobs,” said the Commission’s President, Gael Tarleton. “All of our partners can take credit for recycling more than 97% of construction waste and sourcing nearly 30% of building materials from local and regional suppliers.”