A lot of airports are great and colossal architectural marvels, but they leave behind a large number of carbon footprints. It seems to be futile to construct such huge structures at the cost of the environment, whether it comes from the airport itself or from the airplanes. The huge amounts of CO2 emissions do not make this worthwhile at all. However, these days, architects are going green and are planning and building green airports that reduce emissions and are environmentally-friendly as well. Here are five examples of green airports that are being built or are in the process of construction across the world which are amazing architectural structures apart from functioning in a responsible manner.
1. Kuwait International Airport
The Kuwait International Airport is being renovated and redesigned by Fosters & Partners, who are also designing the new headquarters of Apple called ‘Spaceship’! This swanky new airport would comprise of the state-of-the-art technology and more space with its brilliant design which is inspired by the typical Arabic patterns in order to give it a Middle-eastern touch! The design basically comprises of three similar wings that function as the departure terminals for all the flights. A lot of focus is being placed on cooling, as Kuwait is an extremely hot country. Therefore the windows of the airport will be glazed so as to filter out the radiation and provide ample natural light for illuminating the airport. Solar panels will be placed on the roof of the airport in order to generate electricity for powering the terminal. The designers of this amazing airport are working towards achieving a LEED Gold certification for this design. The Kuwait International Airport is expected to have an annual passenger traffic of more than 13 million passengers and the airport has the capacity to manage more than 50 million passengers with its ambitious expansion plans!
2. Malé International Airport
The Malé International Airport is a beautiful work of architecture and has been designed and proposed by ADPI Designers and Planners. The airport would be located next to Male, the capital of the Maldives and its design would most certainly make it a symbolic structure. ADPI, the designer of this airport is one of the premier engineering and architectural organizations in the world. This new and innovative design for the Male International Airport would reflect the beauty and elegance of the country and would be an iconic structure because of its sustainability, efficiency, security , safety, customer service, operational excellence that would be at part with some of the most prestigious international airports. The airport will like the horizon as it appears like a ship with sails spread open by the wind. However, if seen from a bird’s eye view, the airport looks like an archipelago. Bamboo laths are used to support the roof which is locally sourced from the Maldives. Since this airport would be receiving the LEED Silver certification, it is eco friendly as it incorporates the best green practices such as energy management, water managements, durability in design and so on. The airport also makes use of the SWAC (Sea Water Air Conditioning) system in which the deep cold seawater is used for cooling the airport in place of air conditioning
3. Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is touted as the most busiest airport in the world in terms of the number of international passengers that it received. Anyone who has been to Heathrow probably has an idea about the chaos and rapid movement that happens there. The Heathrow is owned and operated by the BAA who has also recently launch a huge renovation project that is worth 4.8 billion pounds for renovating and restructuring the busy Terminal 2 and making it less congesting. The new design of the terminal is by Foster & Partners who have put across a proposal for a solar-powered, extremely efficient airport terminal that would reduce the carbon emissions by 40% when compared to the present terminal structure. The airport would reduce energy consumption as it would utilize natural daylight and also use solar energy via solar panels on the roof for powering the terminal. The heating and cooling mechanisms of the airport, however, would be partially powered by using renewable energy sources. According to the designers, the new Heathrow terminal would provide 185 thousand square meters of space the construction of which will happen in two phases. The first phase is due to be completed by the year 2013, whereas the second building will also function as a bridge by connecting the first terminal to the second. Both the phases would be completed in 2019 and would be able to handle a passenger traffic of 30 million annually!
4. Queen Alia International Airport
The Queen Alia International Airport is another solar powered airport that has been designed by the popular Foster & Partners which will provide the airport with a design that can be expanded without any disruption caused to the functioning of the airport over a span of 25 years. The airport would be completed this year and would have the capacity to handle nearly 9 million passengers on an annual basis – which is three fold of what it handles at present! The design will see a new terminal structure that would have water pools in their courtyards for reflecting natural light into the building. The canopy roof of this airport has been inspired by the form of palm trees which allows natural light to filter across for lighting up the airport. Apart from energy saving by tapping solar energy, this airport will also collect rainwater with its state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting mechanisms.
5. Floating airport for San Diego
San Diego will probably be the only city that would have a unique floating airport that would be powered by sustainable sources of energy. A new airport is precisely the need of San Diego for many years now as the present one is full of congestion as it serves three million passengers. However, due to space constraint, the OceanWorkdDevelopment is planning upon using the Pacific Ocean as a base for constructing this unique floating airport! This ambitious project would cost 20 billion dollars for execution apart from an airport rights for occupying 40,000 square-miles of the Pacific Ocean from the federal government! The airport would be permanently moored in the ocean but would be floating nevertheless. The roof of the superstructure would function as the airport whereas there would be 200 million sq.feet under the ocean that would serve as rented space for various free trade zones, restaurants and hotels. The airport would be powered by ocean, waves and wind energy. This airport would hopefully be connected via an underground light rail that runs through a floating tunnel!