LEED Goes To San Jose, Calif. Airport

Terminal 2 in San Francisco may be LEED-registered, but Terminal B in San Jose appears to have beaten SFO to the punch, coming in as the first LEED Silver certified airport terminal in the American West. Well, let’s qualify that–it’s the first brand-new passenger terminal west of the Mississippi River to be awarded LEED Silver.

According to the Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), Fentress Architects’ bold architectural design for the 140,135 square-foot $115 million Terminal B “expresses the innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley region,” serving as the major focal point of SJC’s comprehensive $1.3 billion modernization program, now largely completed.

SJC Terminal B

Image via World Interior Design Network

Green features of SJC’s Terminal B include natural daylighting, occupancy sensors for lighting, a programmable lighting control system, high efficiency programmable “smart” heating and cooling system, energy-conserving windows, a high-efficiency ventilation system, recycled construction materials, and water conservation measures that result in 75% less water used than in a similar, conventional building.

According to World Interior Design Network, SJC’s Terminal B and its adjoining Terminal B Concourse structure were designed and built as two separate buildings; Terminal B features two arrival and departure gates and the Terminal B Concourse features 10 gates.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.


  • Reply March 9, 2011

    Kandace Bender

    Hello..I read your article with interest! And while the San Jose Airport is lovely, I wanted to let you know that SF0’s Terminal Two will be certified as LEED Gold, which is as far as we know at SFO< the first remodeled terminal to achieve that status in the United States. Thank you.

  • Reply March 9, 2011

    Kandace Bender

    Yes..thank you for that as well as all your reporting on sustainability efforts everywhere.

  • Reply March 9, 2011

    Sam Mehta

    You may be missing the point. LEED certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold and LEED Platinum are the classifications attributed to the degree of environmental achievement. Platinum being the best. SFO T2 is registered to achieve GOLD certification–a first in the USA or maybe the world.

    In any case you had a great article. Thanks for following the LEED stories.

    • Reply March 9, 2011

      Nino Marchetti

      I think the point here is that San Jose’s airport was the first to be LEED certified, whereas SFO is still awaiting that. True though that Gold is better then Silver.

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