Sustainability is Big at DFW Airport—Real Big
Jul 06, 2012 11:43AM
Once again, everything’s bigger in Texas. Covering more than 18,000 acres, the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport is the third largest in the world in land mass and the ninthbusiest in passenger volume. It’s also pretty important to the North Texas economy and lucky for us, has embraced sustainability as a top priority.
Airport administrators see sustainability as a way to protect the environment, support its neighbors, increase business development and take the steps today to ensure tomorrow's success. Initiatives focus on reducing air emissions, using improved methods and building standards to conserve energy, pollution prevention, source reduction and waste minimization. Here are some highlights of the progress the airport has made.
The airport uses high-efficiency water fixtures in terminal restrooms that save an average of 5.5 million gallons of water per month, qualifying them as a recognized U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)WaterSense Promotional Partner. It is preparing to receive reclaimed water from the Village Creek Water Treatment Plant that will be used for irrigation, reducing potable water consumption.
Thirty percent of the airport’s purchased electricity comes from renewable wind energy. For the second year, EPA has awarded the airport membership into the Green Power Leadership Club, where it has established itself as a leader.
The airport’senergy management team has saved more than 12 million kWh of electricity and 240,000 MMBtu of gas energy by optimizing performance in existing facilities. Theengineering building sports a rooftop photovoltaic array made up of 693 solar panels that can produce up to 200,000 kWh of renewable electricity every year.
The airport has a large fleet of buses and light-duty vehicles, and most are powered by compressed natural gas or other alternative fuels, eliminating 557 tons of nitrous oxideemissions, a precursor to ozone formation, from the atmosphere.
Airport recycling programs diverted more than 13,000 tons of material from local landfills last year, from paper and cardboard to electronics and used cooking oil.
DFW Fire Station 6, complete with rooftop solar thermal collectors, opened in September 2011, and its innovative design and features are the result of a successful collaboration between severalairport stakeholders. Sixty percent of the site is landscaped with drought-tolerant, native species plants and vegetation, while ultra low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce indoor water usage by 20 to 30 percent.
The airport has hosted its own Earth Day events the past several years for employees and local schoolchildren, to educate them about the importance of environmental stewardship.
A much-anticipated DFW Airport Dart light rail station is planned to open in December 2013 and will serve as the terminus of the Orange Line and the DART Cotton Belt rail lines, bringing sustainable mass transit to the airport in a big, big, way.
For more information about DFW Airport environmental progress, visit DFWAirport.com.