Saturday, November 12, 2011

What makes an airport green?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED certification, at the Indianapolis International Airport terminal means energy use and consumption is cut by 18 percent. What makes the airport certifiably green?

» More than 75 percent of the public space in the terminal receives controlled, natural daylight that reduces the need for artificial lighting.

» The wide, curving roof covered in a white material shades the building and reflects summer heat, while skylights add to the filtered light at controlled solar-heat levels.

» Locating the new terminal between the two main northeast-southwest runways cuts the time and distance that airplanes must taxi. Purdue University researchers estimate 500,000 gallons of fuel are saved each year.

» Airport chemicals, such as deicers sprayed on airplanes, and hydrocarbon emissions are recaptured or filtered naturally by plants in bioswales or microorganisms grown in ponds on airport property.

» Restrooms and other water-consuming locations use automated controls that reduce water use by 35 percent and decrease the waste flowing into the municipal sewage system.

» Automatic monitors check the air for carbon dioxide and other indoor contaminants to adjust airflow requirements.

» Up to 27 percent of the construction materials were from recycled sources.

» Locally available materials were used to build the terminal. More than 68 percent of the materials were sourced from regional manufacturers, reducing transportation costs. More than 63 percent of the wood was certified from sustainable forests.

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