A New Terminal in Sacramento Goes Green

While airport construction is not even closely keeping pace with demand for air travel, there is some progress being made out west. In Sacramento, the airport is undergoing an ‘extreme makeover’ adding 680,000 square feet of buildings, along with more parking, to keep up with SMF’s four percent annual growth. And they’re going green with the construction.

Designers aimed to incorporate not only ease of transition into the design, but also natural elements of the capital region — even in the choice of building materials.

After the county purchased a redwood bridge linking Sacramento with San Joaquin County, officials wanted to use it in the terminal, Mares said. “We couldn’t use it for the structure because it’s not structurally sound, so we decided to use it in the ceiling beam infills,” he said. “So we have this 100-year-old recycled redwood that’s going to be the dominant feature in the ticketing area.”

The floor will be made of concrete and recycled materials. The holding areas walls will feature ceramic tile, and the ticket counter will be granite with decorative metal. A shading device on the windows will adjust as the sun moves.

“We’ve developed a system of solar shades — they’re at an exact angle so the moving sun won’t get through, but if you’re a passenger, you can see right through,” Mares said. “The … glass blocks the intensity of the sun but allows vision.”