The Greener, The Better

Airports show initiative in getting ahead of the environmental sustainability curve


“Chicago’s guidelines primarily relate to airfield projects and horizontal work,” says Wetherell. “Our guidelines are more heavily related to vertical work, such as facility construction; and we are on a working group with O’Hare and a few other airports to expand Chicago’s sustainability manual to include sustainable strategies for vertical construction.

“We are looking forward to partnering with Chicago, and seeing if we can incorporate some of their successes with sustainable horizontal construction, and also sharing some of our successes on the vertical with them.

“That’s one of the great things about airports; there is so much resource sharing. We don’t really compete directly, so there’s no disincentive to sharing good environmental strategies and information. We are learning from each other’s mistakes,” explains Wetherell.

Sustainability is core to Massport’s mission, says Wetherell. “We are committed to LEED certification; and Logan’s terminal A, completed in 2005, was the first LEED-certified airport terminal in the world. Some sustainable features of that project include a reflective roof, natural daylighting, and water and energy conservation technologies.”

Additional sustainability initiatives at Logan include a landside CNG facility and a CNG bus fleet which has logged more than 13 million clean miles on CNG. The airport also works with the taxi companies of Boston in terms of encouraging hybrid vehicles. Wetherell says the airport offers a preferred parking program for people who drive hybrid vehicles in its parking garages.

“We have also located 20 micro wind turbines on our Logan office center building,” says Wetherell. “We are currently looking for other applications for the micro turbines as well.

“Regarding some of our projects that are in the planning phase, we have a real strong commitment to installing renewable energy resources.

“We are currently trying to partner with some of our state agencies in terms of developing solar power. We have committed the use of solar panel technology for our terminal B parking garage, which will offset about 2.5 percent of the load for that facility, and is expected to be installed by the end of this year.”

Wetherell says that Massport has long been supportive of demonstration projects and partnering with other agencies in getting grant money. “Quite honestly, I think people understand the value of sustainability. Some customers are demanding greener facilities, or for those types of assets to become important in decisionmaking,” she says.

Going Green in Dallas
“We started getting into the green business pretty heavily when the city was toying with the idea of making all buildings that were more than 10,000 square feet required to be LEED Silver certified,” says Dr. Steven Peacock, environmental manager for the aviation department of the city of Dallas.

“When we started building the new terminal and tower facilities at Dallas Executive Airport, it was very much from the ground up, a LEED-qualified building, and was completed in 2006,” says Peacock. “We put in 20,000-gallon underground storage tanks to collect stormwater; the building also has various awnings around it which allows for efficient stormwater collection.

Those kinds of things are what we are looking at with the modernization project at Love Field.”

Recent environmentally sustainable initiatives at Dallas Love Field include an extensive recycling program of more than 20 different categories of material; solar-powered pumps at maintenance fueling stations; conversion of more than 250 high intensity lights to compact fluorescent bulbs, resulting in more than $70,000 in energy savings each year; and more than 90 percent of the airport’s ground support equipment is currently electrically powered.

“One big project at Love Field we are undertaking is the conversion of all our taxiway and edge lighting to Siemen’s LED technology,” explains Peacock. “It is a little more expensive, but the amperage is minuscule, and we anticipate a considerable amount of energy savings.”

Regarding the Love Field modernization project, the new terminal will have a tremendous amount of natural lighting — almost all of the north part of the terminal and the concourse will be glass, says Peacock.

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