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LaGuardia’s new Terminal B wins major awards from two leading environmental organizations

Jun. 2, 2023 By Bill Parry

Not only is the finished product aesthetically pleasing to the eye that presents a vast improvement for traveler experience, the new $4 billion Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport is also a model of sustainability for such large-scale construction projects in the future. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the developer and manager of Terminal B, on June 2 announced that the completed project has won prestigious awards from two leading international environmental institutions.

Terminal B has retained both its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Platinum Envision Award, affirming that commitments made during the initial design review were carried forward during the construction phase of the $4 billion redevelopment project.

“With construction of a new LaGuardia Airport substantially complete, it’s gratifying to learn that the new Terminal B is not just beautiful and efficient but that it has also been recognized as a world leader in sustainability,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton said. “Sustainable, energy-efficient buildings play an essential role in reaching the Port Authority’s agency-wide goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Courtesy of Governor’s office

LEED is the most widely used rating system worldwide for green building certification, recognizing excellence in sustainable design and construction based on energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. Terminal B achieved its design-phase LEED v4 Gold certification in 2021, including the arrivals and departures hall, the eastern concourse, the eastern pedestrian bridge and the central heating and refrigeration plant. The latest LEED v4 Gold certification, awarded on completion of all construction activities, also includes the western concourse and the western pedestrian bridge.

Courtesy of LaGuardia Gateway Partners

“The work of innovative building projects like Terminal B is a fundamental driving force in transforming the way our buildings are built, designed and operated. Buildings that achieve LEED certification are lowering carbon emissions, reducing operating costs and conserving resources while prioritizing sustainable practices and human health,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council. “Because of Terminal B, we are increasing the number of green buildings and getting closer to USGBC’s goal to outpace conventional buildings, while being environmentally and socially responsible and improving quality of life for generations to come.”

Terminal B has also retained the highest level of Envision award — Platinum — following its post-construction review, recognizing sustainability in multiple areas, including human well-being, mobility, community development, collaboration, planning, economic development, materials, energy, water, conservation, ecology, emissions, and resilience.

“Completing a post-construction review confirms continuity between the sustainable intent in planning design and actual project delivery,” said Melissa Peneycad, managing director of ISI. “We could not have asked for a more impressive project than LaGuardia’s Terminal B redevelopment to bring awareness to Envision as a comprehensive, end-to-end sustainable infrastructure framework solution, one that supports higher performance through better choices in infrastructure development from planning and design right through to post-construction.”

Nearly 100% of the debris that was recycled from the Terminal B Garage demolition was used for new construction, which aligns with the Port Authority’s prioritization of sustainability during both design and construction as outlined in its industry-leading clean construction program.

“Sustainability was a pillar in the redevelopment of Terminal B,” said Frank Scremin, CEO of LaGuardia Gateway Partners. “We are immensely honored to receive both the LEED v4 Gold certification and the Platinum Envision Award, recognizing our collective efforts to create a terminal that not only meets the highest standards of efficiency and innovation, but does so in a way that minimizes our environmental impact.”

The terminal is designed to achieve water savings of more than 43% and an 18% reduction in energy costs. Energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions were achieved through reduced window glazing area, installation of a light-colored aluminum membrane roof that reflects solar heat and reduces summer cooling loads, lower lighting power density, deployment of daylighting controls to adjust artificial lighting levels in response to sunlight, and use of solar hot water heaters.

“We are proud that our new world-class Terminal B is also being recognized as a world-leader for sustainability,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Achieving LEED v4 Gold certification and earning the Platinum Envision Award for sustainability at Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport underscores the commitment by the Port Authority and LaGuardia Gateway Partners to do our part to mitigate the effects of climate change.”

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