LaGuardia attains LEED v4 Gold certification for new terminal

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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has stated that LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Gold certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the first airline terminal in the world to achieve this designation.

LEED v4 adopts more stringent standards than previous versions of the rating system in areas such as:

  • Energy and Atmosphere:  The baseline energy performance standard is at least 12% more stringent.
  • Water efficiency: Projects must now achieve a minimum 30% savings for outdoor water use and all indoor fixtures must be certified by the EPA under its the WaterSense program.
  • Materials and Resources:  Projects must reduce embodied carbon (from material extraction and processing) and publish Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that disclose the environmental impacts of materials.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality:  Minimum standards for ‘Low Emitting Materials’ now must be backed up by laboratory emissions testing, and additionally include furniture, ceilings and insulation.

In achieving the certification, the Terminal B project had to meet high sustainability and leadership standards developed by the USGBC, including in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, selection of environmentally preferable materials and waste reduction.

“We are proud to be marking another milestone at Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport with this LEED v4 Gold certification as we continue developing it into the world-class airport our customers deserve,” said Port Authority chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The Port Authority takes sustainability seriously, and this award sets an important precedent for other airports around the country to follow.”

Nearly 100% of debris that was recycled from the Terminal B Garage demolition was used for new construction, which the Port Authority said aligned with its prioritization of sustainability during both design and construction as outlined in its industry-leading Clean Construction Program. The program contained six specific initiatives, including the incorporation of LEED standards during infrastructure design, in order to reduce emissions from construction processes. The agency requires as a minimum the equivalency of LEED Silver for all large building projects.

The terminal is designed to achieve a water savings of more than 43% and an 18% reduction in energy costs. Energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions were achieved through reduced window glazing area, installing a light-colored aluminum membrane roof that reflects solar heat and reduces summer cooling loads, lower lighting power density, deploying daylighting controls to adjust artificial lighting levels in response to sunlight, and utilizing solar hot water heaters.

With new technology in mind, the baggage handling system was created to operate only when bags are present in the system and goes into ‘sleep mode’ when not in use, generating a claimed energy saving of at least 37% compared with older technology.

“LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP) prioritized sustainability throughout the redevelopment project by building Terminal B to be as energy-efficient as possible. As the developer and long-term operators of Terminal B, we continue to look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said LGP CEO Stewart Steeves. “I’m thrilled that we’ve been recognized by the US Green Buildings Council with LEED Gold v4 designation for the project. We’re grateful for our partners at the Port Authority, Vantage Airport Group, Meridiam and Skanska for their leadership in making this possible.”

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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