Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Michigan’s First Green Airport

Oakland County International is Michigan's second busiest airport behind Detroit Metro, and the 12th-busiest general aviation airport in the world. Now that a giggling L. Brooks Patterson has a world-class, soon-to-be-certified LEED Gold terminal, maybe we can convince him to go to work on his Republican friends in Congress and stop them from making major cuts to the FAA and the DOE, who, along with state funding from a MDOT - Bureau of Aeronautics grant and airport user fees, paid for this $7.5 million project.

The corporate types that fly into Oakland County are going to be very impressed, and we can thank "government spending" for putting a green face on this major Michigan airport. Check out the specs - and make note of where the wind and solar components were made:

From the “living wall” air cleaning system — a wall of tropical plants watered by stored rainwater — at the entrance, to the state-of-the-art geothermal cooling and heating system in the kitchen-clean basement boiler room, the terminal is a marvel of modern energy efficiency and comfortable, user-friendly architectural design. The geothermal system alone will cut the airport’s heating and cooling costs by more than 50 percent, Patterson said.

The airport also has 15 percent of its electricity generated from renewable sources — a solar array on the roof and three 1,200-watt Windspire vertical axis wind turbines outside, manufactured in Michigan and sold by SolarWorks of Whitmore Lake.

Other green touches include a solar water heating system, highly efficient flourescent and LED lighting, electric car charging stations in the parking lot, the use of recycled construction materials and the recycling of used construction materials, low volatile-organic-compound emitting paint, carpet, adhesives and wood products, and the construction of rain gardens and bioswales to allow rain runoff to re-enter the groundwater rather than being directed to the sewer system.

The airport also features a larger Customs area, outdoor space for viewing take-offs and landings, and a conference room with catering. Sounds like a nice place. Go read the original story for the list of over 30 Michigan contractors who were involved in supplying workers and products to the project.

Who says the government isn't creating green jobs?