0

Airport takes on Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz
Louis Miller (left), aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, listens to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a press conference at the airport. Atlanta’s airport formally accepted the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge on Tuesday.

Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz Louis Miller (left), aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, listens to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a press conference at the airport. Atlanta’s airport formally accepted the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge on Tuesday.

The world’s busiest airport is making strides to ensure that its goal of becoming one of the world’s greenest airports is fulfilled.

The airport formally announced its acceptance of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (BBC) on Tuesday, during a press conference inside the Technical Campus of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, in College Park.

Louis Miller, aviation general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, spoke about the endeavor. “The BBC has foundations that make a very important impact in our community and ... we’re talking about the entire Atlanta metropolitan area, but we are going to focus more here on the airport,” said Miller.

The Technical Campus, which encompasses planning and development, will be the airport’s first building retrofitted as part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Miller said. The airport’s parking decks also will be included.

“It is our goal that we reduce energy use in this facility, and our parking garage by the year 2020, by 20 percent, and that is pretty significant ... Those are just a start of the projects going forward,” he explained.

According to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, the Better Buildings Challenge is a national energy-efficiency leadership initiative, and a main element of the U.S. Energy Department’s and President Barack Obama’s plan to make the 20 percent goal an actuality for communities by the anticipated year.

The “White House made a commitment of nearly $4 billion of combined federal and private-sector support to build cities that pledge to make [themselves] ... 20 percent more efficient by the year 2020,” he said.

Atlanta, he said, was one of the selected cities. Los Angeles and Seattle are the others.

“I am pleased the City of Atlanta was selected ... and I deeply appreciate the people at the airport for ... embracing that challenge,” added Reed. “Since this past November, truly impressive progress has been made toward the challenge.”

Sarah Peek, senior asset manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, said areas of the Technical Campus, such as lighting, doors, windows, heat ventilation, and air conditioning, will be upgraded.

“The reason we chose the Tech Campus is there are so many opportunities for reduction,” she said. An audit will be performed on the 68,283-square-foot building on Feb. 23, for the challenge, she added.

According to Miller, changes at the airport’s parking decks can be seen, as new energy-saving lighting is being installed. This project is being funded through a $5.89 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, but the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge will enhance the efforts.

Beyond the Atlanta BBC, he said, the airport will open the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal as a “Leadership in Energy and Environmentally Designed” certified building.

“Better Buildings Challenge is something that is important to us, and we really appreciate Mayor Reed’s support and his commitment to this cause,” said Miller.

Reed said every goal, obstacle and challenge to achieve sustainability is accomplished, only through a coordinated and cooperative partnership involving public and private groups. According to the Atlanta BBC web site, www.atlantabbc.com, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress and other leading businesses and community organizations, introduced the challenge, locally, in June 2011.

The founding partner of the Atlanta BBC is Davis, Pickren, Seydel & Sneed, LLP, an Atlanta legal firm. According to Clark Wisenbaker, an attorney with the firm, the local challenge is a private-public endeavor, which not only will improve sustainability, but will save money and create jobs — particularly in the construction arena.

For more information about the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge, visit www.atlantabbc.com.