Winnipeg Richardson International Airport (photo: Stantec)
Thu 12 Feb 2015 – Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport has become the first airport terminal in Canada to become LEED certified. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification system is used in 150 countries and is a mark of excellence for green buildings. It provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies that ensure high performance in areas such as sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The terminal, designed by architects Stantec, achieved a silver rating, which the airport says was beyond the category initially targeted.
“Attaining external validation of our commitment to the principles of sustainable development is truly exciting,” said Barry Rempel, CEO of Winnipeg Airports Authority. “Working closely with Stantec, our teams delivered a beautiful, functional facility that minimised its carbon footprint. It’s something that I believe our community will be able to take pride in for years to come.”
LEED strategies that were implemented in the terminal’s design include daylight optimisation to provide passengers an uninterrupted view of the prairie landscape and daylight sensors that switch on electric lighting when needed. Heating and cooling is provided to the building by circulating warm or cool water through flexible tubing located within the floor. Heated or cooled air is also introduced into the building at or near floor level so that the least amount of energy is used to keep passengers comfortable.
The windows and roof are significantly more insulating than conventional products, says the airport, resulting in better energy efficiency as well as preventing jet fuel emissions from entering the building.
In the 51,500-square-metre terminal’s construction, maximum use was made of recyclable materials and local products and materials were sourced whenever possible to minimise energy used in transportation.
“The building meets the needs and expectations of 21st Century air travellers and based on the LEED energy model, it is estimated that the building will achieve a total GHG reduction of over 5,000 tonnes per year when compared to code,” said Stanis Smith, EVP Buildings at Stantec Architecture, which has provided engineering and design services for airport terminal and infrastructure projects throughout North America.
Winnipeg International claims to be located at the geographic centre of North America and handles over 3.67 million passengers annually. With round-the-clock operations it also says it is the leading dedicated freighter airport in Canada as measured by the number of flights.
The airport notes it is one of only 17 terminals in North America, and 24 worldwide, to have received LEED certification for new construction projects.
In 2011, the Montreal head office of Air Transat became the first building in Canada to be awarded LEED platinum certification in the existing buildings category.
Winnipeg Airports Authority – Environment
Stantec Architecture – Airports
US Green Building Council – LEED
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