LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B First to Earn LEED v4 Gold Certification

LaGuardia Airport’s Terminal B Is World’s First to Earn LEED v4 Gold Certification for Sustainability under More Stringent Gold ‘Version 4’ Standards

  • New World-Class Terminal is Recognized for its Commitment to Environmental Practices, Strategies and Accomplishments Under the LEED v4 Gold Certification
  • 99 Percent of Debris Recycled from Terminal B Garage Demolition Used for New Construction through Clean Construction Program
  • Terminal Designed to Achieve a Water Savings of More than 43 Percent

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced that LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it the first airline terminal in the world to achieve this designation for its sustainability efforts under more stringent LEED v4 requirements.

LEED is the most widely used rating system worldwide for green building certification, recognizing excellence in sustainability and design construction. Buildings satisfying the requirements may earn one of four LEED rating levels: Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum, based on the number of criteria achieved. These more rigorous standards for all levels of achievement were issued by the USGBC in 2013.

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 percent more stringent.
    Water efficiency: Projects must now achieve a minimum 30 percent 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 includes furniture, ceilings and insulation.

In achieving LEED v4 Gold certification, the Terminal B project met high sustainability achievement and leadership standards developed by the USGBC, including in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, selection of environmentally preferable materials and waste reduction. The award recognizes the design and construction of Terminal B, the Arrivals and Departures Hall, the Eastern Concourse, the Eastern Pedestrian Bridge and the Central Heating and Refrigeration Plant for such environmental practices, which are part of Phase I of the redevelopment project.

Port Authority Chairman, Kevin O’Toole, said:

“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. The Port Authority takes sustainability seriously, and this award sets an important precedent for other airports around the country to follow.”

Laguardia Airport leed v4
The Terminal B project met high sustainability achievement and leadership standards developed by the USGBC.
Port Authority Executive Director, Rick Cotton, said:

“Achieving LEED v4 Gold status at Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport under the more stringent version 4 standards underscores our commitment to live up to ever higher sustainability targets as we completely transform LaGuardia from the ground up. We committed in 2018 to meet the Paris Climate Accord standards and we will continue to upgrade our sustainability targets to be consistent with President Biden’s recent enhanced climate goals.”

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

The terminal is designed to achieve a water savings of more than 43 percent and an 18-percent 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.

LGP CEO, Stewart Steeves, said:

“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. I’m thrilled that we’ve been recognized by the U.S. 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.”

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

The four-story Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall, spanning approximately 850,000-square-feet, provides travelers with a world-class airport experience including local concessions, modern restrooms and a New York-inspired shopping district designed to accommodate over 17 million passengers each year.

As part of the phased construction of the entire LaGuardia Redevelopment, the second section of Terminal B’s western concourse and ten additional new gates will open in 2022.

The brand-new Terminal B Arrivals and Departures Hall at LaGuardia Airport opened to the public in June 2020, marking the biggest milestone to date in the airport’s ongoing $8 billion transformation. Upon completion, the new Terminal B will include the Arrivals and Departures Hall, the world’s first dual pedestrian skybridges and two fully activated concourses with a total of 35 gates serving American, Southwest, United and Air Canada airlines.

This article was originally published by The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

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