Atkins-designed US airport rescue and firefighting station earns LEED Gold certification

A critical Atkins-designed safety building at a leading US international airport has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for sustainable design and construction from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Building Certification Institute. The $15.7 million, 31,000 square foot aircraft rescue and firefighting facility (ARFF) at the Southwest Florida International Airport is the first public/government building in Lee County, Florida to receive a LEED Gold rating and was completed in June 2013.

Atkins’ project manager, Darin Larson said:

“This is one of the nation’s first structures to be developed under the updated FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) guidelines for ARFF building design. It’s also one of the most efficient of this type of building ever constructed. The airport will gain long-term benefits through reductions in operating and maintenance costs.”

Atkins’ project-related services included site selection, planning and design, ARFF programming, architectural planning and design, environmental consultation and construction administration for the new facility – which accommodates the specialised emergency equipment and personnel who respond to airport ground emergencies.

Key sustainability features of the new structure include energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow water fixtures, a rainwater reclamation system for landscape irrigation, reflective building materials and specialised daylighting elements. Separating and recycling waste during the construction process also helped the facility earn its LEED Gold certification.

The USGBC’s LEED rating system is an internationally recognised green building program that helps building owners and operators identify and implement practical and measurable solutions in sustainable building design, construction, operation and maintenance.

Southwest Florida International Airport is one of the top 50 US airports in terms of passenger traffic, serving more than 7.6 million passengers in 2013.