The Chinese get all the press for rapid construction, but the new Terminal 3 at Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi has set a very high bar. Not only was this airport, designed to handle 34 million passengers per year, awarded LEED-Gold certification by the Indian Green Building Council, but it also was constructed in a mere 37 months.
By contrast, Terminal 3 of the Beijing airport, which was built for the 2008 Olympics to handle 45 million passengers per year, took 60 months to complete and to date has not received any environmental certification.
Green airports are in the news this week: The 640,000-square-foot renovated terminal at San Francisco International Airport, which opens to the public this weekend, is shooting for LEED-Gold certification. The terminal’s principal tenants: Virgin America and American Airlines also have registered for LEED certification. Virgin America is aiming for LEED-Platinum certification of its offices in the new terminal and the American Airlines Admirals Club is seeking LEED-Silver certification.
Also this week, Groom Energy’s Paul Baier reviews the Green Globes-certified Whole Foods store in Dedham, Mass. The store boasts a 400 kW fuel cell and an 80 kW solar array that together provide 90 percent of the stores energy needs. Waste heat from refrigeration cases is used to warm the water at the facility, and environmentally friendly construction materials were used throughout.
Those troublemakers at the Rocky Mountain Institute are at it again. All of that activity “reinventing fire” has lit one in their belly, this time aimed at improving energy modeling. I’ve written about the sad state of energy modeling before and, while the situation certainly has improved, the discipline is still misunderstood and poorly implemented the vast majority of the time.
Ironically, people who put complete faith in financial models (which make weather forecasting look like the Oracle of Delphi), consider energy modeling “black box voodoo” — perhaps because it’s based on those dismal sciences of physics and engineering. Or, maybe it’s because — let’s be frank — most (not all) energy modeling in the U.S. still sucks. The modeling software itself is underdeveloped relative to the progress in building design and engineering practice and very little recalibration of the algorithms based on actual detailed building performance measurement has been performed.