The 21st Century Terminal

As the Indianapolis Airport Authority designs and constructs it new Midfield Terminal, sustainability and environmental awareness are driving forces.


Achieving Leed

Greta Hawvermale, New Indianapolis Airport assistant project director, says the "airport authority has a strong commitment to making the project environmentally friendly and sustainable." Looking to meet the goal of the board, the project team of architects and designers made the decision that following LEED standards and guidelines would be the best method to meet the objectives of the airport board.

Having the new terminal LEED certified "tells the world you did comply with a very specific standard," she says. "It's a third-party assessment measuring our commitment to the environment and sustainability."

Says Richard Potosnak, VP of Aviation Capital Management, "Airports are often criticized and scrutinized for environmental insensitivity; so anything airports can do to show they're cognizant of this and that they are being good neighbors is important."

According to Arminda Hanni, RA, CCS, with Blackburn Architects, USGBC established a scale of 69 points for which a project can receive credit toward becoming LEED certified. Currently, there is not a scale designed specifically for airports. Hanni and the project team identified 51 of the 69 elements that could apply to an airport environment. In order to receive certification, the airport will have to be awarded at least 26 points. There are three levels of certification under the USGBC: certified: 26-32 points; silver: 33-38 points; gold: 39-51 points; and platinum: 52-69 points.

AeroDesign Group's Alan Tucker, AIA, says it was the goal of the airport authority to incorporate sustainable practices "whether the airport is LEED certified or not."

Key to certification is documentation. All materials that are used on the project, any materials removed from the site, and other activities the airport looks to receive LEED credit for must be clearly detailed.

For contractors that have no previous experience with LEED projects - the majority of those involved with the IND project - there is a learning curve, explains Hanni. "But it's a great opportunity for contractors and design teams to learn about LEED. Although some of the contractors were resistant to the additional paperwork at first, as the project has grown they've become used to it and some have requested to learn more about becoming accredited in LEED design and construction."

"Indiana is a little behind with LEED," says Hanni. "There are no LEED certified projects in the state."

Leed Specifics

Some 227 acres of the airport's more than 7,700 acres are being considered part of the LEED certification project, which includes the wine glass-shaped roadway leading into the terminal, the new terminal, and a site for a possible future hotel. A new air traffic control tower is not included, as the FAA project was started before LEED certification could be explored for it.

Using regional materials in the construction and local and regional plants in the landscaping are just some of the aspects of the project Hanni tracks and documents. She says use of regional materials has been "excellent." For LEED requirements, "local" is defined as within a 500-mile radius.

The project team is working with construction managers on the project to encourage construction waste management. According to Hanni, "30 percent of what's in landfills currently is construction waste."

Some 4,815 tons of asphalt and 2,433 tons of concrete from existing pavement has been rubbleized and reused as fill for the terminal project. While Hanni says there is a cost to rubbleize the pavement, there is less cost overall in reusing the material.

Materials such as adhesives, sealants, glues, concrete curing compounds, and solvents are also closely monitored to ensure they are low-emitting VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Hanni adds that in some areas they are exceeding the standards set forth by the USGBC.

Hanni says the team has also been proactive in certification of what wood is used on the project, making a concerted effort to ensure that wood is taken from Forest Stewardship Council control-managed forests.

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