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High Performance Buildings Solutions Help Airport Expansion Projects Take Off

April 26, 2012

Long before the information superhighway made the world more inter-connected, transportation advancements – trains, automobiles and airplanes – brought people together and gave them access to new and remote parts of the world.

Today, people are busier than ever, and transportation hubs like bus and train terminals and airports are open 24-7 to shuttle people to their destinations.

Running these types of operations around the clock comes at a significant cost in terms of energy consumption, as facilities must be kept well lit and climate controlled at all hours for passenger comfort.

The Evolution of Today's High Performance Airports
Over time, the business mission of airports has evolved from a no frills experience to a high tech, efficient transportation system. Increased passenger and air cargo demand is forcing airports to invest heavily in infrastructure improvements.

In fact, as much as $90 billion in renovation and construction investments are needed to keep pace with the anticipated growth in demand in the United States.

For example, the San Diego International Airport is currently undergoing a significant expansion and renovation that includes custom Trane air handler units capable of moving a combined total of volume of 434,000 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). The units also use the Trane Catalytic Air Cleaning System (TCACS) to improve indoor air quality by controlling the infiltration of dust, jet engine exhaust and other airborne contaminants common to airport environments.

The focus on investing in airport infrastructure is global. China has built more than a half-dozen airports in the past few years, and is anticipated to build 97 more by 2020. It also will expand and modernize 144 existing airports in this same period.

Along the way, consumer awareness of the environmental impact of the airline industry has grown, causing many airport operators to look for ways to improve sustainability and become greener in their operations - namely through efforts to develop energy efficient high performance buildings.

Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort systems and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, works with transportation terminal operators to provide solutions and controls that deliver a comfortable indoor environment while reducing operating costs.

As airport operators look to make critical infrastructure investments, they are turning to a high performance buildings approach to ensure that facility improvements meet their needs while reinforcing their business mission.