LaGuardia Airport wraps up Terminal B sustainability-focused redevelopment

by arslan_ahmed | December 19, 2022 10:23 am

LaGuardia Airport, N.Y., recently completed the final steps of its redevelopment, which spanned almost six years. The transformation has achieved specific sustainability benchmarks including energy efficiency, water conservation, site selection, material selection, and waste reduction.

The project was handled by one of the largest public-private partnerships in the U.S, LaGuardia  Gateway Partners, and it is touted the largest one in U.S. aviation by the partnership. The project included the addition of arrivals & departures hall, connected by two sky bridges to two island concourses, a parking garage, and related roadway and infrastructure. The new Terminal B was built next to, behind, and even on top of the original terminal, which was kept operational during most of the construction.

To achieve the goal of energy efficiency, the baggage handling system installed at the new terminal uses permanent magnetic motors, providing for the controlled movement of bags, and the ability to switch to “sleep mode” during moments of inactivity—allowing for 37 percent less energy consumption compared to older technology motors.

The rooftop solar hot water systems, combined with the water efficient fixtures specified by the design team, generate 78 percent in hot water energy savings. The terminal also utilizes LEDs in almost all applications, Additionally, the orientation of the building along east-west allows it to harness natural light, controlled using daylighting dimmers. ​

The use of demand control ventilation design that utilizes outside air dampers and variable air volume (VAV) systems supply the right amount of fresh air to guests when and where needed.

​In terms of material selection, there are two types of roof materials used. The roof is covered with light color aluminum and PVC membrane, which reflect solar heat better than conventional asphalt pavement. The apron concrete pavement also reflects more solar heat than the conventional asphalt pavement. Collectively, the design reduces summer cooling loads and greenhouse gas emissions.

​Electric, gas, and water meters are installed throughout the terminal. The data recorded by the building management system (BMS) allows building operators to get the insight of how the building performs and make needed adjustments or repairs. Further, the GHG emissions are brought down by the dual taxi lane design providing for more efficient aircraft movements within the apron area, the installation of electric-powered ground power unit (GPU) and preconditioned air units at each gate replacing fossil-fuel fired units, and the planned ground support equipment program to transition to the exclusive use of electric baggage tugs, belt loaders, and pushback tractors.

To brace for flooding impact, Terminal B, which is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, has placed assets, including electrical substations, emergency generators, communications equipment, electrical closets and fire alarm closets, above ground or routed in underground concrete. The ground level only includes non-critical areas such as offices and baggage handling area which are dry flood proofed. In response to a potential flood, a flood barrier system will be deployed in a phased response depending on the stage of the threat.

​For its sustainability-minded approach, the project has received LEED V4 Gold certification for building design and construction.

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