Recent expansion and renovation at the San Diego International Airport (SAN) included the use of commercial air handler units capable of moving a combined total of 434,000 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). The units also use a catalytic air cleaning system to improve indoor air quality by controlling the infiltration airborne contaminants.
The new terminal at Poland’s Warsaw Chopin Airport includes large water cooled centrifugal chillers and a chiller plant control system that maintains indoor air quality for passengers and airport personnel. The control system provides centralized system operation supervision that can be accessed remotely. The new terminal features high performance infrastructure systems that are estimated during the first ten years of operation to save an amount of energy equivalent to that needed to supply a city of 11,000 inhabitants for a year.
Advanced Technologies And Practices
Technology advancements and the ability to turn raw building system data into usable information have enabled a significant improvement in the way airports are operated and maintained. For example, sophisticated sensors can detect conditions — occupancy levels, for example — in a boarding area and the advanced building automation system (BAS) can adjust temperature, humidity, lighting and other factors to maintain optimum conditions.
BAS technologies enable airport facilities professionals to automatically control mechanical and lighting systems throughout the airport and in multiple terminals from a central location. Predictive maintenance technologies continuously monitor the performance of mechanical systems to detect potential problems before they can cause system failures. Intelligent services combine technology, proprietary analytics, and human knowledge to continuously collect, interpret, and act on data from building equipment and controls to optimize building performance and respond quickly if problems occur.
Software solutions such as Tracer XT from Trane integrate data from standalone systems into a common interface with intuitive dashboards, customized for the specific needs of airport operators. The platform can be configured to provide a holistic view of critical systems such as HVAC, power, lighting, safety, and security to enable data-driven decision making and an enterprise-wide view.
With security the top transportation industry priority, high performance building solutions can be fully integrated with new and existing surveillance systems to help bolster and streamline the security check-in process.
Achieving Superior Building Performance
High performance building and intelligent services options pay for themselves many times over during an airport terminal’s occupied life. Still, most operators will need to build a business case to launch a high performance building or intelligent services initiative by identifying how improving building performance will create economic value and help the organization achieve its primary passenger-service mission.
A critical systems audit (CSA) to assess current building system performance and create a baseline to estimate the financial benefit of improvements is a good place to start. Most organizations use a qualified energy engineer or energy services company (ESCO) to conduct their CSA and identify, prioritize, and implement energy conservation measures.
Neil Maldeis, a professional engineer and an Association of Energy Engineers Certified Energy Manager. Maldeis is responsible for the technical development, support, and review of performance-based contracting solutions and activities on a national basis. He has more than 30 years of experience as a mechanical/project engineer in the building construction and energy conservation fields.
As global warming and climate change dominate headlines around the world, many environmentally conscious individuals and businesses are asking “what can I do?”
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