The Indianapolis International Airport recently announced that their Col. H. Weir Cook Terminal has achieved LEED certification, making it one of the largest buildings in the country to reach this standard.
Measuring more than 1.2 million square feet, the passenger terminal plus several adjacent buildings rank in the top 2 percent of the 10,000 LEED certified buildings in the country. Additionally, it is among the first airports in the nation, along with airfields in Boston and San Francisco, to carefully design new passenger terminals to meet the environmental requirements.
An enormous feat in both scope and accomplishment, the LEED certification of this building is a definite win in the argument for greater efforts in energy efficiency and less environmental impact from the commercial construction industry. It makes a strong statement against any trepidations or disputes that LEED certification is difficult to tackle on such a large scale.
However, the most impressive aspect of this building and perhaps the most compelling argument comes in the form of dollars and cents. The numerous architectural and engineering LEED design features are saving at least 18 percent of the energy costs to operate the terminal – approximately $2 million a year. When you consider that the additional materials and techniques required to meet LEED standards only added a little less than 1 percent to the building costs, the return on investment is quite substantial.
We obviously fully support taking the extra steps needed to make a building as energy-efficient as possible and can’t help but feel that examples such as the Indiana International Airport will help create a strong, persuasive case study for the future of commercial construction and LEED certification.
Can you think of additional buildings that create an exemplary illustration in the case for LEED certified commercial construction?