South Bend International Airport was using old heating and cooling equipment installed with the original terminal in 1979. The equipment was deficient and needed replacement. Our aviation architects and structural and mechanical engineers designed a new geothermal HVAC system within the existing building, something that is not typically done. Through close work with the airport, we found a federal grant program to offset the cost. This was a unique application of the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program, from which grants typically go to other emission reduction projects like car manufacturers.
Ozone was the pollutant targeted for reduction, and is expected to reduce by just over 142 tons over the next 20 years. The project exceeded expectations by successfully reducing the emissions of six other tracked pollutants in the region. Through our phased construction approach, the airport remained 100% functional during construction. The project successfully lowered energy costs by $20,000 per year, and maintenance and labor costs by $100,000 per year.