“For years, we have been sold on these very large-diameter ceiling fans in hangars,” relates Dye. “Big-Ass Fans has an amazing product when used in combination with a well-designed heating and ventilation system. In the winter time, it takes naturally warmer air at the top of the hangar and pushes it down to the floor at very little cost.
“In the summer, it creates air movement, which with the evaporative effect of the wind blowing around, gives a cooling sensation.”
For pure economy and safety with regard to heating systems, Dye prefers low-intensity infrared heating systems. “The technology heats the concrete slab, which in-turn heats the environment,” says Dye. “That provides very good comfort at a low operating cost.
“When we can’t use the infrared technology, we use a forced-air unit heater system,” he adds.
The company is beginning to look at geo-thermal heating sources in certain climate areas. Geo-thermal can be a cost-effective and very efficient way to go for heating and air conditioning, relates Dye.
“It’s becoming very popular in residential projects; it is not real popular in many industrial and commercial applications right now, but the technology is getting better and more economical for larger systems.”
Sustainability At CHA
CMAA president Terry Hart began his career as a travel agent, and joined the Britt Airways airline in 1981. After more than 25 years in the airline industry, Hart made the move to Chattanooga and served on the airport management team. In June of this year, he was named president and CEO after serving as VP of airport operations for four years.
Hart explains that lighting was one of the first initiatives the airport tackled with regard to sustainability. Old, incandescent lights on the airfield were systematically replaced with more energy efficient LEDs as part of each taxiway construction project.
Lighting on the exterior of the terminal building was upgraded from metal-halide to compact florescent lights. In the interior of the terminal, lighting was changed to compact florescent lights, and time, motion, and light detectors were installed to ensure that lights were only used when needed.
“With these simple changes, the airport reduced its electric consumption by one full megawatt each year over the past five years, and we continue to replace less efficient lights and equipment with more sustainable products,” comments Hart.
“Sometimes the smallest changes can have big impacts in our efforts to conserve the earth’s resources. The CMAA has evaluated day-to-day operations and made conscious decisions to focus on sustainability in areas like green cleaning products, green pest control, green landscaping practices, and recycling programs.”
With regard to recycling, all asphalt removed during reconstruction projects is recycled and reused to produce aggregate for new asphalt at the airport, adds Hart. Last year, the airport began restoring pavement with an environmentally safe product instead of traditional coal tar.
The CMAA has developed a solar vision that includes a three megawatt solar farm on the airfield. The first step in fulfilling that vision was to establish a one megawatt solar farm on the southwest corner of the airfield.
The location was unusable for aviation purposes due to its close proximity to the runway. “However, it was the perfect site to develop a one megawatt fixed ground mount solar farm,” remarks Hart. “The solar farm construction started in October 2011 and was completed in December 2011; the power produced from this farm will provide the energy to offset the entire West Side Corporate Aviation Campus.
“Once the full vision of three megawatts is realized, the Chattanooga Airport will be effectively energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral,” he adds.
The solar farm was funded through the FAA Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) Grant. VALE Grants are air quality grants issued to airports that are in non-attainment or maintenance areas.
Says Dye, “We do a great deal of research on solar technology. When all is said and done, we are not able to show a return on investment that’s within the scope of what some are willing to spend on that effort right now.