San Diego wins ACI North America's environmental management award for its Green Build expansion project
San Diego International's new Terminal 2 'The Green Build' expansion (photo: SDIA)
Wed 27 Aug 2014 – San Diego International Airport (SDIA) has won this year’s major Environmental Achievement Award from Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the trade association for commercial airports in the United States and Canada. The Environmental Management award recognises the airport’s ‘The Green Build’ project, a 460,000 square-foot (42,000sq-m) expansion that recently became the world’s first commercial airport terminal to achieve the coveted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification. Other awards have been won by Grand Rapids’ Gerald R. Ford International Airport, Port Columbus International Airport and San Francisco International Airport. The awards will be presented at ACI-NA’s annual conference in Atlanta on September 10.
“Each year, North American airports strive to design and implement better and more comprehensive strategies to protect and preserve the environment,” said ACI-NA CEO Kevin Burke, announcing the awards. “Protecting the environment is more than just the right thing to do, it also makes great business sense because we know that green and sustainable business habits reduce operating costs.”
Established by the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee, the awards recognise achievements in the categories Environmental Management; Mitigation, Outreach, Education and Community Involvement; Innovative/Special Projects; and new this year, Peer Recognition for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Leadership.
San Diego International’s $907 million The Green Build expansion to Terminal 2, “designed with environmental sustainability at its core”, opened a year ago and includes 10 new gates, a new security checkpoint, expanded passenger waiting areas equipped with seating featuring electrical charging outlets, more concessions and dining options, and floor to ceiling views of the airfield. As well as the terminal’s LEED platinum certification, the landside of the project, including a dual level roadway and USO building, has earned LEED gold certification.
In 2012, SDIA became the first airport in the United States to publish a GRI-based annual sustainability report, which in addition to traditional environmental metrics, covers financial and social sustainability efforts under way, including community involvement, sustainable business practices, financial performance and customer service initiatives. The third annual report was published last month.
The Outreach, Education and Community Involvement Award went to Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GFIA) for its work on a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit for the discharge of storm water impacted by aircraft and pavement deicing materials. To meet the permit’s requirements, GFIA staff and consultants met three main objectives: developing a technical solution that could meet the requirement of eliminating the discharge of deicing materials; educating a large cross-section of the West Michigan community on the science, operations and various responsibilities associated with deicing at airports; and convincing the community that the airport’s plan was the best solution. Taking into account all community stakeholders and the creation of a citizens committee was a creative way to increase communication between the public and airport staff, commended the awards judges.
Port Columbus International Airport won the Special/Innovative Projects Award in respect of its Runway 10R-28L Replacement Program completed late last year and the innovative, sustainable solutions implemented through its process of design and construction. To ensure the project was both cost-efficient and able to implement sustainable solutions, measures undertaken included managing construction waste, improving water quality and storm water management collection, reducing construction emissions, reducing pavement life-cycle costs and providing energy savings through the use of LED lighting. The runway is the first high-intensity, all-LED lit runway in operation in the United States.
The Mitigation Award category went to San Francisco International Airport’s ‘West-of-Bayshore San Francisco Garter Snake Recovery Action Plan’. The airport owns and manages a 180-acre (73ha) undeveloped area of land west of the primary airport facility, known as the West-of-Bayshore (WOB) property, which supports populations of two federally protected species, the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog. The WOB area is critically important to airport operations as extensive airport-related infrastructure is located on or passes through the property, in particular flood control and conveyance canals. The Recovery Action Plan, developed in conjunction with various agencies and now in its sixth year, is intended to ensure larger populations of the two endangered species through a variety of habitat enhancement actions, and concurrently allows the airport to improve its flood control, storage and conveyance infrastructure on the WOB property.
The Peer Recognition for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Leadership Award recognises outstanding contributions to the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee. The first-ever award has gone to Mary Vigilante, President of Synergy Consultants and previous co-chair of the Committee’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Working Group.