31 August 2018

The best air cargo and passenger terminals according to sustainability assessors, BREEAM

The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, or BREEAM as it’s better known, is a sustainability assessment process used to masterplan projects or monitor infrastructure and buildings in order to make improvements and refurbishments accordingly. Finnair’s COOL Nordic Cargo Hub, is an excellent example of how BREEAM standards can be integrated into all the design and build phases of a new air cargo terminal.

The BREEAM certification was launched in 1990 by U.K. based Building Research Establishment (BRE) and has gone on to become one of the world’s most comprehensive methods of assessing the sustainability of buildings and complexes.

Other alternative sustainability assessment methods exist such as Leadership in Energy in Environmental Design (LEED) from the United States and the Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE) from Japan.

There are currently more than 77 countries in which BREEAM assessments are carried out, and of course each country has slight variations in criteria, but BRE has implemented the Core Technical Standard to which each scheme must adhere. This means that there is an easy benchmark and a VERY GOOD rating for a scheme in one country is the same as elsewhere.

Independent BREEAM building assessors take into account a number of points (with certifications ranging from acceptable, pass, good, very good, excellent and outstanding). A 55%+ earns a VERY GOOD rating while an 85%+ earns the OUTSTANDING rating. Factors that influence the rating include energy consumption, climate change adaptation, biodiversity protection, health and wellbeing and materials used, to name a few.

Being BREEAM accredited serves as a standard to adhere to in either the planning stage or refurbishment of a particular scheme (even a demolishing phase can be accredited) and more and more businesses are considering the benefits of a positive BREEAM rating when considering where to locate. It can also be a good benchmark for the surrounding area.

BREEAM is incorporated into modern airport terminal design

Air cargo hubs need to consider not only external factors in their design and build, but also what happens inside the building because time- and temperature-sensitive items need to be controlled in harmony with other processes. Adhering to BREEAM standards ensures a positive sustainable impact all round.

We've compiled a list of some airport terminals and air cargo hubs that have been accredited by BREEAM assessors as very good or better, inspired by the rating of COOL as Very Good. 

In our research we found that Finnair Cargo's COOL terminal is one of very few air cargo terminals in the world that has achieved such a high level of environmental recognition. Similarly, on the passenger side we were able to find only Gothenburg and Oslo airports. 

Finnair COOL Nordic Cargo Hub: Very Good

The COOL Nordic Cargo Hub at Helsinki Airport is an ultra-modern air cargo terminal that embraces robotics and intelligent warehouse automation. BREEAM specifications were taken into consideration already in the design phase to create Europe’s “greenest” air cargo hub. 

Heathrow South Cargo Centre: Very Good

The off-airport facility is run by Swiss logistics company Kuehne + Nagel, and it is located on the outskirts of Heathrow Airport, adjacent to the extended cargo area. It is a relatively new development that, like the COOL Nordic Cargo Hub, took BREEAM criteria into consideration in the development stage.

Gothenburg Landvetter, Swedavia: Very Good (Projected)

In May 2018, Swedavia started construction of a new north terminal at Göteborg Landvetter airport. A BREEAM sustainability assessment will be conducted as part of the project in order to secure BREEAM certification with a Very Good rating. The airport currently holds BREEAM certification from 2014 when it announced it was the first airport terminal in the world to be certified in BREEAM's In-Use category.  

Oslo Airport Terminal 2, Avinor: Excellent

Oslo airport's terminal two was opened in April 2017 and the new departures and arrivals hall and North Pier were certified as "Excellent" in the BREEAM Bespoke class. Terminal 2 uses 50% less energy than the existing terminal at Gardermoen and, according to airport operator Avinor, extensive use of wooden elements in the roof and energy solutions were key contributory factors in the certification process.