Insight | Mar 05, 2020 | Arora
David Marsh, PE, LEED AP Featured in Passenger Terminal World
Arora is very proud to have David Marsh, PE, LEED AP, Mechanical Practice Lead, featured in the latest issue of Passenger Terminal World magazine. Dave contributed his extensive expertise and industry knowledge to the article Call of Nature, discussing the future of sustainable airport design.
The Future of Sustainable Airport Design
In this article, experts in engineering and architecture, as well as airport executives, discuss how the aviation sector is focusing on developing a genuinely sustainable future through more environmentally friendly designs that can address current climate change concerns. According to Dr. Paul Toyne, Sustainability Practice Leader at Grimshaw, sustainable designs need to focus on more than just using materials that are environmentally friendly. Airports need to be developed with a focus on possible changes in future transportation.
He explains, “By designing future-proofed airports that can properly house and facilitate new types of aircraft, and fulfill their fueling requirements, we will ensure that airports retain their capacity to fully integrate transformations in technology in the most environmentally conscious way.” Toyne also expresses the need for future airports that will be able to withstand the consequences of extreme weather patterns.
Challenges and Opportunities
Dave Marsh discusses the issue of “monumentality in airport terminal design.” Dave explains, “Modern airport terminals are following the precedent of late 19th century railroad terminals and becoming ‘temples of transportation’. Each community wants its local airport to be a suitable gateway expressing their civic pride to the world.” These designs have started to include high cathedral-like ceilings and broad windows, which could be potential sources of increased energy use.
However, according to Dave, “Every problem also presents an opportunity for sustainable design. By implementing state-of-the-art sustainable design techniques, a seemingly inefficient building feature can be turned into a means of energy reduction.” Larger windows could allow for increased daylighting capabilities, while high ceilings could allow for innovative cooling air distribution methods that will reduce energy. For example, one of our current projects, a largescale terminal modernization program in the New England region of the United States includes a cathedral-style grand hall, which could be viewed as problematic for efficient energy use. Therefore, Arora is utilizing an innovative displacement ventilation system, where tempered air is supplied at the occupant level, allowing the unoccupied space to “thermally stratify.” This will lead to a 33% reduction in fresh outdoor air supply and an annual energy cost reduction of $300,000.
Central Utility Plants
Dave also believes that airport utility plants could hold the key to future sustainability improvements. Currently, many airports have older central utility plants with less efficient equipment, which limits the possibility for energy and carbon reductions. According to Dave, “Over time, as these central plants reach the end of their expected lifespans and need replacement, there will be opportunities for efficiency improvements that will reverberate across the entire site.”
Global Airport Development
As passenger projections continue to grow and the need for new airport development expands globally, architects and engineers are re-examining their design approaches to incorporate sustainability efforts whenever possible. While the initial financial and time investment may be large, the cost reduction over time and the impact on the future of our climate are worthwhile considerations in new airport design.