Galapagos Seymour Airport became the first terminal in South America to receive LEED GOLD certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. VIVA developed the system environmental strategies, interior design and LEED certification. To achieve its place as the first ecological airport in the world, the airport administration took several steps to ensure the least environmental impact. The building structure and interiors were designed to reuse 80% of the construction materials of the former air terminal, and other salvaged materials such as recovered perforation pipelines. The project was designed as a passive building, to adapt to local climatic and geographical conditions, making the best of existing wind and reducing radiation and heat gain in the high temperature of Baltra, achieving thermal comfort with only natural ventilation and shade. Renewable energy provides 40% of the energy demand while producing shade for the walkways that lead to and from aircrafts to the terminal building. Through the use of wind energy, use of natural lighting and ventilation which avoids the use of air conditioning and artificial lights, the building achieved zero emissions and is a carbon neutral building. Efficient water use, treatment and reuse of waste water resulted in a water reduction of over 50% in a location where there is no potable water and fresh water is limited, further reducing environmental impact. A large reflective roof and adequate paving materials as well as endemic flora gardens, allow the building to reduce heat island effect and reduce environmental temperature around the building.
The terminal has “louvers” or automatic mechanical shutters that by temperature and CO2 sensors regulate the air intake to cool the terminal and with large windows create a friendly atmosphere in a sensitive place on the planet.
The airport uses its own desalination system seawater for use in all basic services from the airport.
Baltra Island, Galapagos
diciembre 19, 2014