LaGuardia Airport Terminal First In The World To Achieve LEED v4 Gold Status

(Credit: LaGuardia Airport)

by | Jul 28, 2021

(Credit: LaGuardia Airport)

LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the first airline terminal in the world to achieve recognition for the more stringent standards.

Valued at $5.1 billion, the Terminal B redevelopment project is the largest public-private partnership in U.S. aviation history.

Approximately 1,000 projects in over 60 countries are certified LEED v4, according to the USGBC. The standard includes nine categories for which buildings can earn credit: energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, sustainable sites, locations and transportation, integrative process, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, innovation, and regional priority.

LEED certification rating levels — Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum — are determined by the number of criteria the buildings achieve. LEED v4 focuses more on building performance and looks for measurable results throughout a project’s life cycle. With 20% of all points allocated to energy efficiency, there is a greater emphasis on energy and its impacts. Additionally, there is expanded emphasis on materials beyond just usage to evaluate the impact on health and the environment. The Water Efficiency (WE) section addresses water more comprehensively, including indoor, outdoor and specialized uses, as well as measuring all sources of water related to a building. LEED v4 also looks at the extent to which buildings have systems in place to reuse water. Location and Transportation (LT) is a new section for v4 and  includes an emphasis on more advanced performance metrics — walking distance instead of straight line radius, trip counts instead of transit stops, absolute rather than relative parking requirements and bicycle networks in addition to bicycle storage.

Terminal B got its LEED v4 Gold certification by recycling nearly 100% of debris from the demolition for the new construction, and its design to achieve more than 43% water savings and an 18% reduction in energy costs. Energy and water savings come through the use of building design measures such as reduced window glazing, light-colored aluminum membrane roof to reflect solar heat and reduce summer cooling loads, lower lighting power density, and utilizing solar water heaters. 

“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.”

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