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SFO’s newest AirTrain stations earn LEED gold certification


San Francisco International Airport’s two newest AirTrain stations, constructed at the Grand Hyatt at SFO and Long-Term Parking, have earned Gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programme developed by the US Green Building Council.

The two locations were built as part of a project which extended the AirTrain electric people mover to reach Long-Term Parking. The project included the creation of a new station located at the Grand Hyatt at SFO, which opened in October 2019.

“The completion of the AirTrain extension to Long-Term Parking realised our vision to provide a seamless, clean energy connection between all of our terminals, parking, hotel and rental car facilities,” enthuses SFO’s airport director Ivar Satero.

“At the same time, the project continued our tradition of industry leadership in sustainable building design, construction, and operation. This LEED Gold certification is a tribute to the dedicated project team who transformed this vision into reality.”

According to the airport, sustainable design and construction elements were prioritised at every stage of the project, resulting in the implementation of more than 50 sustainable practices. Highlights include:

• Installation of a large solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of the Long-Term Parking structure, with 2,700 panels that generate about 40% of the annual power needs for both stations;
• Deployment of new water-efficient fittings and fixtures that reduce water use by about 40%;
• Recycling of more than 75% of construction and demolition debris;
• Procurement of building products and materials that comply with the rigorous LEED Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions criteria to reduce concentrations of indoor chemical contaminants;
• Testing of indoor air quality at both stations to confirm compliance with LEED air quality assessment standards for clean indoor air prior to occupancy; and
• Selection of building products and materials from manufacturers that transparently disclose products’ environmental life-cycle information to reduce global environmental impact

Prior to this project, the AirTrain system terminated at the Rental Car Center. The $259 million construction project extended the AirTrain guideways by 1,900 feet to reach the Long-Term Parking area, running 50 feet above a public roadway and built a new station with a pedestrian bridge connecting the AirTrain to one of two Long-Term Parking multilevel structures.

The design-build team was awarded to Skanska Constructors and WSP, and construction management was awarded to PGH Wong.

When it opened in 2003, SFO’s AirTrain was the largest automated people movers in North America, capable of moving 3,000 people per hour in each direction. The system consists of a fleet of 41 clean energy electric vehicles that run along over 6 miles of fully automated concrete guideways.

It boasts two lines – the Blue Line, which serves the Rental Car Center and Long-Term Parking Garage, and Red Line, which loop around the terminals.

With a top speed of 30 miles per hour, a complete loop of the Blue Line takes 25 minutes, while a loop of the Red Line takes nine minutes.

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