Airport going green
The Lynden Pindling International Airport’s U.S. departures terminal will be one of the’greenest’in the Caribbean.
Technology including deep water cooling, low velocity air diffusers, and an automatic building management system will be used at the airport to make the facility compliant with international best practices in regards to environmental and social management, according to a release from the Nassau Airport Development Company.
“When designing the airport, we were very careful to take advantage of the natural resources with which the islands of The Bahamas are blessed,”Stewart Steeves, NAD’s President&CEO said.”This[deep water cooling]system is used in lieu of installing cooling towers which would consume about 10 million gallons of potable make-up water annually. The cooler ground water helps the chiller to run more efficiently than conventional cooling towers.”
Deep water cooling uses deep water wells for geothermal cooling. In the geothermal cooling process, cool water from around 400 feet below ground level is passed through heat exchangers to capture the heat that the chillers throw off. The water gets heated in the process and is then discharged 300 feet back into the earth, according to NAD.
The terminal will also use low velocity air diffusers to cool the air inside. These diffusers will only cool the space that is up to human height to maximize energy efficiency. The cooling and lighting systems will be centrally controlled by an automatic building management system.
“One major cost to airports, which are 24/7 facilities, is that of energy electricity,”NAD’s Vice-president of Operations John Terpstra said in the release. He added that occupancy sensors will shut off lighting in washrooms and offices automatically when not in use to reduce electricity consumption.
The management system also monitors for carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound(VOC)levels, according to NAD. Both carbon dioxide and VOCs can be hazardous to human health in excessive quantities. Materials for interior finishes at the terminal were selected for their low VOC emissions, according to NAD.
Going”green”was built into the planning and design of the terminal, according to the release. The large roof overhangs that provide shade reduce heat gain. The roof collects rainwater for use in automatic plumbing fixtures such as water closets and urinals. These fixtures utilize low-flush technology. The building also uses a mix of half glass, half solid walls to allow in as much light as possible while minimizing heat intrusion.
Airport users will be able to enjoy outdoor gardens as well, with two gardens at either end of the completed terminals, and two gardens between the three terminals. The gardens will be irrigated by pumped ground water.
When the entire airport is completed it will be unique in the region for its cost-saving and energy-efficient systems, comfort and safety for users, and minimization of impact on the environment, according to NAD officials.
“There is a lot being said about the need for airlines to reduce their carbon footprint. At LPIA, we are actually doing something to minimize our impact, and at the same time add to the overall passenger experience the best of all worlds,”Steeves said.