Sustainability Takes Off at LAX

April 11, 2007

By Dianna Dilworth

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is getting a facelift and going green with its renovation of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Boasting a price tag of $723.5 million, it is one of the largest individual building projects in Los Angeles’ history.


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Leo A. Daly is overseeing plans to rehab the 1-million-square-foot terminal, which has not been renovated since it opened in 1984. In addition to an extensive makeover of public spaces, the work includes installing an in-line, checked-baggage security system and constructing a second boarding gate for new large aircraft, which will add 45,000 square feet of new space.

Daly’s main focus is to brighten the terminal’s interiors and modernize them with high-tech equipment and sustainable building materials. The work is in keeping with a green building policy that L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the city’s Board of Airport Commissioners adopted in January. The policy commits Los Angeles World Airports, which manages LAX and three other Southern California airports, to incorporate LEED standards into all future construction.

At LAX, recycled content will be used in glass walls, metal ceilings, and the carpet (which will be backed with low-VOC adhesives). Additionally, more than 75 percent of the construction and demolition waste will be recycled or salvaged. New, efficient HVAC and lighting systems will be installed—and green power will come from photovoltaic arrays and from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which will provide 100 percent of the airport’s electricity from renewable sources.

A combination of airport revenues, passenger facility charges, and airline reimbursements will fund the project cost. Construction crews led by a Clark McCarthy joint venture began work last month and are slated to finish in March 2010. The terminal will remain operational during renovations.

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