Airports Adopt Green Building Standards
The Board of Airport Commissioners adopted a sustainable, “green” building policy that commits Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to incorporate the highest possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in all future construction projects at LAWA’s four airports — Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD) and Van Nuys (VNY).
LEED standards, which are developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
The City of Los Angeles in 2002 adopted a policy that all new City buildings of 7,500 square feet or more in size should be designed, whenever possible, to meet the LEED standards promoted by the Green Building Council.
While the City’s 2002 policy did not apply to projects by LAWA or the other proprietary City departments (Water & Power and the Port of Los Angeles), LAWA staff developed a set of “green” building policies for use on airport projects anyway.
In its action, the Board noted that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is entering into a period of modernization and new construction that could last up to 10 years or more and involve millions of square feet of construction.
Board President Alan Rothenberg said, “Formal establishment of such a policy for LAWA airports is timely and implementation of sustainable design in our projects promises long-term energy savings and waste reduction in airport operations.” He added, “Experience has shown that buildings incorporating sustainable design and construction features make for healthier work environments and encourage higher productivity among employees.”
“The City of Los Angeles needs to show leadership in reducing global warming and redouble our efforts to be good stewards of the environment,” said Los Angeles City Councilman-District 11 Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes LAX and who was recently elected chairman of the Southern California Regional Airport Authority. “Transforming LAX into the greenest airport in the world is a huge step in this direction; one that will not only benefit the citizens of Los Angeles, but help in the global fight against climate change.”
The Airport Commissioners further declared that should the Green Building Council adopt standards specifically applicable to airport facilities, LAWA would formally pursue the highest practical LEED certification “for all projects planned and built after adoption of those standards.”
As a result, LAWA staff was directed to develop a comprehensive sustainability program that addresses all environmental aspects of LAWA’s operations and an implementation plan for the policy.