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Airport Authority Administration Building Earns LEED Gold® Certification for Sustainable Design

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport Authority) announced that its newly constructed Administration Building has been awarded the Gold certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. LEED is the most widely used green-building rating system in the world and an international symbol of environmental responsibility. 

“We are very pleased that our new Administration Building has achieved the LEED Gold certification,” said Kimberly J. Becker, the Airport Authority’s President and CEO.  “Environmental stewardship is a hallmark of our operations at SAN, and we prioritize it in everything we do. This certification is the culmination of hundreds of hours of hard work and recognizes our efforts to lead the way in environmental protection, energy conservation, and creating a sustainable work center for our employees. We thank the USGBC for their careful evaluation and consideration.”

The 135,000 square-foot, four-story office building located on the southwest corner of the San Diego International Airport (SAN) campus earned this prestigious rating by meeting specific sustainability benchmarks for energy efficiency, water conservation, site selection, material selection, and waste reduction. The building design features include:

  • Energy Efficiency: The Administration Building cuts energy use by 31% compared to the LEED baseline. This is achieved through high-performance features like efficient HVAC systems, a well-insulated building envelope, and on-site solar power generation.
  • Sustainable Materials: The building utilizes cool roofing to minimize heat absorption and interior finishes with low-VOC content and verified environmental impact (EPDs). This demonstrates the Airport Authority's commitment to both occupant health and environmental responsibility.
  • Optimized Performance: A thorough commissioning process ensured all building systems (HVAC, plumbing, envelope) function optimally for maximum energy efficiency. Additionally, critical energy-consuming systems are individually metered for real-time tracking and optimization.
  • Sustainable Transportation: More than 12% of parking spaces are equipped with EV chargers, and ample bike storage with showers encourages alternative transportation options.
  • Wellness and Collaboration: The central sky-lit staircase promotes physical activity and spontaneous interaction among employees.
  • Water Conservation: Native, low-water-need plants and efficient fixtures contribute to a 50% reduction in outdoor water use and a 35% reduction in indoor water use compared to the LEED baseline.

Construction of the Administration Building was completed in October 2023 and today houses the Airport Authority’s administrative offices. The facility was built by the Sundt Construction and HOK design-build team in close collaboration with the Airport Authority and project stakeholders.

The building is the first of three components of the new Terminal 1 (New T1) project at San Diego International Airport (SAN) to be completed. The remaining two components are the Terminal & Roadways and Airside Improvements.

The Airport Authority is committed to building and operating sustainably and strives to protect the wide variety of natural resources that exist on the airport campus. In 2014, SAN’s Terminal 2 Green Build was the first commercial airport terminal in the world to achieve the LEED Platinum® certification. The Administration Building is the eleventh building on the airport campus to earn the LEED Gold® or Platinum® certification.

For photos of the Administration Building, please click here. For more information on the Airport Authority’s commitment to sustainability, please click here.


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