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The Green Life: Eco-Responsibility Takes off at San Jose Airport

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July 01, 2010

Eco-Responsibility Takes off at San Jose Airport

San Jose airport Traveling efficiently has a new meaning at California's Mineta San Jose International Airport, which just opened its new Terminal B in serious Silicon Valley style. The upgrade, part of the airport's $1.3 billion initiative to go greener, includes many high-tech and energy-efficient improvements, including 3.4 acres of solar panels atop the parking lot to provide at least 20% of the facility's electricity needs.

As part of SJC’s goal to achieve LEED certification for the new terminal, its managers gained much efficiency by updating the airport’s central chiller plant to Optimum Energy’s new HVAC system. The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning upgrades installed last year saved the airport more than 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, preventing more than 1.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.  

It’s still an airport, however, so to keep the big, bright signs that direct travelers where to go from being an energy drain, SJC turned to local firm Silicon Constellations for their new thin-panel light modules. Three hundred of the sleek, double-sided signs were installed, netting more than a 70% energy reduction.

--Allison McCann / photo courtesy of Mineta San Jose International Airport

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