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Sustainable Expansion of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

In AEC, sustainable expansion often means making additions to existing structures to enhance consumer experience while keeping the environmental impact minimum. For transportation hubs like airports, it’s more than accommodating increasing passenger numbers. It’s about redesigning facilities and services to seamlessly integrate functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability.

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) recently got the approval to expand Concourse C. The contract was awarded to Turner Construction Company who are bringing in new dining options, lounge areas, and more, at a budget of USD 399 million. Let’s look at how they are making the expansion sustainable!

Making Port of Seattle the Greenest and Most Energy-Efficient Port in NA

Sustainability is now a crucial aspect of construction. Since this sector is a major contributor to global carbon emissions, the world is acknowledging the need to buck traditional practices and embrace eco-conscious methods. It’s a collective effort to reach net zero for a more environmentally responsible and resilient future.

The C Concourse Expansion project at SEA Airport seamlessly integrates the Port of Seattle’s Sustainable Evaluation Framework to support the Port’s goal of becoming North America’s greenest and most energy efficient. The expansion brings features like a solar photovoltaic array on the roof, water efficient fixtures, the utilization of materials with reduced embodied carbon and health-conscious attributes, as well as the incorporation of biophilic design elements to bring passengers, and visitors closer to nature. Furthermore, an advanced high-performance air delivery system will bolster indoor air quality, ensuring a holistic approach to sustainability and passenger well-being. The project aims to achieve LEED v4 Silver certification and will operate as an all-electric, fossil-fuel-free facility.

This project will significantly expand C Concourse, growing it from 80,000 square feet to 226,000 square feet. This transformation will occur at the intersection of C and D Concourses by adding four floors to the existing three. 

The expansion will include:

  • A full office floor
  • Three new floors for enhanced customer service amenities, featuring new dining and retail spaces, a premium lounge, an Interfaith Prayer and Meditation room, a nursing room, and an outdoor viewing area
  • The “Tree at C” atrium with spacious seating and a live music performance area
  • A luxurious 20,000 square-foot Alaska Airlines lounge for travelers to relax in style

When the project was approved, Lance Lyttle, managing director at SEA Airport said “The C Concourse Expansion project is key to establishing SEA’s future as a five-star airport. The C Concourse Expansion will offer more of what guests need by expanding dining and retail options.”

“The project also offers more of what our guests love about SEA, like public art, musical performances, sensory room, mothers nursing room, Interfaith Prayer and Meditation room, and great gathering spaces. This concourse will be a planespotter’s dream, with the Lookout at C providing views of the airfield and the Olympic Mountains beyond,” he added.

Construction will begin early next year and is expected to be completed by 2026.

AEC Industry and its Net Zero Goals

Responding to the global call of decarbonizing construction, professionals are employing a multitude of innovative strategies and practices, ranging from cutting-edge technology and sustainable materials to eco-conscious design and a holistic construction approach. 

From sustainable materials and construction techniques to biophilic design principles, renewable energy integration, and smart building systems, the industry is demonstrating its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and fostering a more sustainable world.

These collective efforts are redefining the AEC landscape and reflecting a global shift towards more eco-consciousness. By embracing these strategies and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, the AEC industry is poised to play a pivotal role in the realization of net-zero goals.

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