Thursday, May 23, 2024

Big reductions in electricity, water use expected in Puerto Vallarta’s new terminal

The Puerto Vallarta International Airport has begun constructing a new terminal that officials say will be a net-zero energy building the first of its kind at any airport in all of Mexico and Latin America, according to the newspaper Milenio.

The new terminal 2 will be equipped with solar panels that will help save 4 million pesos (US $197,000) per month in electricity costs, and there will be a water reuse plan that is expected to reduce water consumption by at least 35%, the project’s lead architect told Milenio.

Benjamín Romano, the founding director of Mexico City–based LBR&A Architects, also said the terminal will have a smaller footprint than originally anticipated, which means less spending on the installation and maintenance of an air-conditioning system, as well as lower construction costs overall.

The building is drawn to be 61,200 square meters (659,000 square feet), with additional space for adjoining car rental lots, parking lots and roads.

“When I saw the jungle, I made the decision to reduce the [size of the] building,” Romano told Milenio. “We can’t avoid having eight gates of 42 meters, because that’s what a plane measures, but the rest we decided to make it smaller … Between the footprint of the conceptual plan and the one we did, there is 54% less impact on the environment.’

For example, he said, “some trees with gigantic roots” that were found on the property will not have to be removed.

Construction began earlier this year and is tentatively scheduled to be completed in two years, according to Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), which is overseeing the project. However, one report from when the project was first announced in 2019 said it won’t be completed until 2025.

Milenio wrote that the building is not only “recognized as a beautiful aesthetic work,” but that it will also have “a high level of functionality,” will be sustainable and that its goal in the medium term is to be zero energy.

Romano told Milenio that there will be zero wastewater, as all water will be reused within the daily processes of airport operations. A system for converting water flow into electricity will be installed, he said, which will help reduce energy costs, as will solar panels on the roof.

According to a report last year in Vallarta Lifestyles magazine, the new terminal will be a “net-zero smart building” with “an energy saving of 40.78% and a [tap] water saving of 58.3%.”

LBR&A, which has designed many eye-catching structures, will be using matatenas as a key design element. Matatenas are jacks, the six-pointed item you try to scoop up in your hand while bouncing a ball in the tabletop game, and their shape will be used as both a visual and structural component of the project.

The Puerto Vallarta airport, officially named the Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, is located 10 kilometers north of the center of town. Currently it has two terminals, A and B, but they’re in the same building, connected by a long corridor, and the space often gets extremely crowded.

According to reports from GAP, which operates 12 airports in Mexico, the new terminal will have the capacity to move 4.5 million passengers per year. The airport is also investing in a new runway and other improvements, according to a December report in the English-language Puerto Vallarta Daily News.

The construction of terminal 2 will completely change the passenger experience, Cryshtian José Amador Lizardi, the airport’s director, said as quoted in the PVDN. “The surface area and passenger screening lines [will be] more than doubled.” There will also be “50% more telescopic aisles [jetways] and checked-baggage screening systems,” he  added. “All this gives more space to passengers and makes them enjoy their trip more.”

With reports from Milenio

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