Oakland Int'l Expands, Renovates & Goes Green

Author: 
Jim Faber
Published in: 
May-June
2008

Travelers heading through Terminal 2 at Oakland International Airport to catch a Southwest Airlines flight have a lot to admire. The waiting areas offer views of San Francisco Bay. Stunning artwork from Oakland artist Hung Liu is on display. New concessions feature a mix of local favorites and national brands. Even the restrooms are considered bright, airy and easy to navigate.

Oakland Int'l Expands, Renovates & Goes Green

Below the traveler-friendly surface lies another, deeper benefit - construction so "green" that the Port of Oakland and Turner Construction are seeking LEED certification for the project.

LEED refers to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. It is one of the most rigorous green building standards in use.





Oakland International Airport

Oakland International Airport

There's nothing else like Terminal 2 at Oakland International. The project, which began pre-construction efforts in 2003 and was substantially compete by the end of 2007, was the first concourse construction in more than 20 years at the airport, says David McAneny, senior project manager for the Port of Oakland.

The decision to go green came out of a policy adopted by the Port in November 2000. That policy says the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners will "implement a sustainable development strategy as an overarching principle guiding the Port of Oakland's operations and development programs, with the goal of making the Port a sustainable public agency and business enterprise."

That, says McAneny, guided the airport to create a LEED-certified building for two main reasons:


  1. Community and environmental responsibility to reduce the amount of fuel, materials and water consumed as well as pollutants and waste produced by a major public building

  2. To construct a high-quality building that has lower operating and maintenance costs over time

But the Terminal 2 project wasn't just making a small corner of the airport more environmentally friendly.

To complete the project, the Port of Oakland used general contractor Turner Construction Company, a LEED consultant, three local design teams and 65 subcontractor firms, most of whom were local.

The project expanded the terminal by seven gates, added three new baggage carousels, allowed Transportation Security Administration to expand to 10 lanes, created a Southwest ticket counter expansion and new baggage service offices and added new concessions, says Dan Wheeler, Turner's manager of field operations.

The improvements were needed to handle Southwest's growing number of passengers. The airline serves 21 cities with more than 140 daily flights, which makes up roughly 60 percent of Oakland International's passengers. Amazingly, the $110-million project took place without closing the terminal.

"Carefully planned phasing and logistics, along with a synchronized night shift allowed Turner to set up each day's activities, and when the last flight arrived and the concessions shut down, Turner quickly mobilized each night from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and performed work in the gate holds, over concessions, around TSA security and would clean up and move off the concourse each morning to allow operations to continue," Wheeler explains.

Being green also presented its own challenges.

"There is an initial premium (in cost) for a LEED-certified project, but it is hard to determine exactly how much," says Steve Rule, a senior project manager for Turner. "In theory, there is savings in operations, etcetera, with energy management systems and power management systems included in the design."

The biggest challenges in the green project were finding building materials that met LEED standards and adjusting traditional building practices to those standards, says McAneny of the Port of Oakland.

But, in the long run, those efforts will be worth it with lower operating and maintenance costs, he says. Those savings, both monetary and environmental, include a high use of recycled construction materials, including wood, concrete, asphalt, terrazzo, metals and carpet; the recycling of more than 75 percent of construction waste; terminal surfaces designed to be cleaned with minimal chemical products; lower energy usage because of high-efficiency heating and cooling; greater use of natural light to reduce lighting needs; low-wattage lighting; and low-flow water closets and faucets, McAneny says.

The Port of Oakland is currently seeking silver status accreditation for its efforts from the Green Building Council. Status is determined by how many points the project meets on the LEED rating system checklist.









Facts and Figures

Project: Terminal Renovation/Addition

Location: Oakland (CA) International Airport

Architect: Y.H. Lee Associates and MWM Architects

General Contractor: Turner Construction

Size: 108,000 square feet

Cost: $110 million

Construction: April 2004 - August 2007

The Challenge: Expand and renovate a LEED-certified terminal without closing

Support team members

Design consultant for terminal extension: Jacobs Carter Burgess

Mechanical building design: NBA Engineering

LEED consultant: Enovity
.

Y. H. Lee Associates (YHLA) served as the interior architect and coordinated electrical power and lighting, HVAC distribution, telecommunications and airport systems. As part of a joint venture with the previously mentioned architects, MWM Architects served as shell and core architects.

Lester Tom, associate principal with YHLA, says seeking LEED certification for the terminal project had little impact on design efforts. "Many of the LEED points are determined by end-user practices and policies such as recycling, electric car parking and charging, janitorial practices and the purchase of 'green' power," Tom says. "LEED guidelines provide no particular advantage or disadvantage for motivated designers to specify 'green' products and use good design practices."

Turner has completed several LEED-certified projects across the country, including the platinum-level California EPA Headquarters in Sacramento, the gold-level 1180 Peachtree skyscraper in Atlanta and the platinum-level Exelon corporate headquarters in Chicago.

LEED-certified buildings are harder to come by in airports. McAneny says the Oakland project will likely be the second such airport building in the country. 

Subcategory: 
Terminals

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