Tampa International Airport’s new 10,000-square-foot Central Utility Plant was activated on 27 December 2021 to improve the efficiency of the airport’s heating and cooling systems. The utility plant was constructed within Phase 2 of the airport’s Master Plan and features a striking architectural design.
The new Central Utility Plant houses the heating and air conditioning systems for TPA’s Main Terminal and its SkyConnect station. The Administration Building that previously contained these systems will be demolished and replaced with the new Red Side vertical circulation building.
The utility plant is now a centrepiece of the airport’s expansion project. Its large glass windows enable guests to look inside the curved building and view the maze of bright pipes and mechanical equipment. The exterior will also be lit at night with multicoloured LED lighting.
“I think it’s great that we are showcasing elements of the facility that we used to do our best to conceal. The CUP will be a work of art, inside and out. Beyond that, it will improve our efficiency, reducing our water consumption, energy consumption and giving us better insights into how we use our energy and how we can improve that usage.”
The project cost 46 million USD and brings several benefits to the airport. Compared to the previous systems, the plant offers a 30 percent increase in efficiency, thus significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The new utility plant uses reclaimed water to save 25 million gallons of water each year. It also features a heat recovery chiller that reduces demand on the boilers and the system’s natural gas consumption.
Phase 2 of Tampa International Airport’s Master Plan aims to prepare the airport for the future’s increasing passenger demand. The Central Utility Plant will therefore have a greater capacity of 4,800 tons, compared to 3,600 tons, providing additional supply during peak demand.
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