Atlanta International’s Shiny New LEED Silver Terminal

Two trends in greener airports of late: solar power and LEED certifications. Both Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International and Tennessee’s Chattanooga Airport fit the former category (with¬† 5.4 megawatts and 1 megawatts of solar, respectively), while a new terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia now joins San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 2 and Winnipeg International Airport’s Air Terminal Building in taking LEED certification.

Atlanta’s new Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal opened on May 16th of this year, and has taken LEED Silver for its focus on energy efficiency, water conservation and healthy indoor air quality. It features eight security checkpoints, 12 new gates, new access roadways and separate arrival and departure gates. Encompassing 1.2 million square feet, the facility was constructed at a cost of $1.4 billion.

Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal

image via Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Green features of the terminal include smart lighting control systems throughout the terminal, and a 25,000-cubic-foot water box that collects and filters rainwater from the roof of the concourse and international terminal. This rainwater harvesting system was designed to benefit the surrounding watershed by filtering the pollutants found in stormwater runoff from the large buildings and hardscape-covered landscapes found in large airports.

Other green strategies at work here include low-chemical-emitting paints, sealants, carpeting and adhesives; recycled and/or regionally produced construction materials (including FSC-certified wood products), low-flow restroom features; and highly efficient heating and cooling systems. The facility’s water conservation systems are projected to help to save the terminal up to 40,000 gallons of water a year.

During construction, up to 75 percent of the debris generated in building the terminal was diverted from the waste stream.

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.