National Academies Press: OpenBook

Sustainable Airport Construction Practices (2011)

Chapter: Chapter 2 - Key Concepts

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Key Concepts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Sustainable Airport Construction Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22925.
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Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Key Concepts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Sustainable Airport Construction Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22925.
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Page 3
Page 4
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - Key Concepts." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Sustainable Airport Construction Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22925.
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Page 4

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To guide its efforts, the research team defined the concepts of sustainability, construction, and “sustainable construction practices” to establish the parameters of this research project. The fol- lowing sections discuss how these terms were applied to this research project. 2.1 Sustainability Sustainability has been defined differently by various organizations and individuals. Because each airport operator, government agency, and construction contractor will have different definitions or criteria for determining what they consider to be sustainable practices, the research team has taken a broader approach to identifying potential sustainable airport construction practices. Some examples of industry definitions are provided below. • The Environmental Affairs Committee, Sustainability Working Group of ACI-NA defined airport sustainability as “a holistic approach to managing an airport so as to ensure the integrity of the economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation and social responsibility (EONS) of the airport” (ACI-NA March 2006). • In ACRP Synthesis 10: Airport Sustainability Practices, an airport sustainability practice was defined as “a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of practices applicable to the management of airports” (Berry et al. 2008). The report documented practices that ensure: (1) protection of the environment; (2) social progress; and (3) the maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment. These three aspects of sustainability (environmental, social, and economic) encompass what is commonly referred to as the “triple bottom line” approach to sustainability. • The Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance (SAGA) encourages each airport operator to determine its own definition of sustainability (SAGA 2009). SAGA consists of a diverse range of airport associations and aviation interests, including representatives from the Airport Consultants Council (ACC), the AAAE, the ATA, the FAA, and other airport representatives and consultants. In the Collection, the concept of sustainability is not based on a specific definition; rather, it is focused on whether or not the application of a specific practice during construction could affect the economic, operational, natural resource/environmental, or social conditions of an airport, the surrounding community, or region. Potential sustainable construction practices were identified based on whether they could: • Reduce energy consumption; • Reduce impacts to water and air quality, minimize waste, reduce pollution, and/or minimize other environmental impacts; • Improve construction operations; 2 C H A P T E R 2 Key Concepts

• Improve construction safety; • Reduce construction impacts on airport operations; • Benefit surrounding communities; and • Reduce costs associated with construction. Each interested airport operator, trade group, construction contractor, or other stakeholder is encouraged to ascertain its organization’s concept of sustainability. It is up to the users to individually determine what sustainability means to them, their organization, or their facilities. It may be possible that certain practices listed in the Collection do not match with the particular concept of sustainability established by the user or his/her organization. Additionally, the user should not expect that all sustainable practices listed in this document will satisfy the specific requirements of an airport’s sustainability guidance manual, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system, or other rating systems. 2.2 Construction The definition of construction and how it is applied was identified to determine the sustainable practices to be included in the Collection. The construction phase of a project includes all activities necessary to fulfill the requirements of a design specification, as follows: • Policies and regulations; • Construction methods; • Logistics; • Equipment; • Surface transportation; • Reuse and recycling materials; and • Sustainable materials. The research team attempted to focus the Collection on sustainable practices that take place during the construction phase of a project and have beneficial effects on sustainability during the construction phase. However, many construction practices should be considered and specified during the design process, or are impacted by design decisions, even though they are implemented during construction. This concept is discussed further in the next section. 2.3 Sustainable Construction Practices A key element in sustainability decision making is control, i.e., the point during a project when decisions are made. Frequently, there is little control over planning and design decisions during the construction phase. Yet, construction practices are significantly influenced by design of structures and civil works as well as the materials used to build them. Construction contractors are typically limited in their ability to control decisions regarding sustainable construction techniques because the decisions that influence construction practices are typically made during the design phase. There is a great amount of research on sustainable design and construction materials, but the research team attempted to exclude practices implemented during the planning and design phases of a project if they did not provide a sustainable benefit during construction. However, it is important to understand the influence that design and material decisions have on construction. Thus, the research team established the following definition of sustainable construction practices to guide its research: Sustainable construction practices are those practices that have sustainability benefits during the construction phase of a project, including those benefits that may result from decisions made during the planning or design phases of a project. Key Concepts 3

For example, choosing lightweight, carbon reinforced, prestressed, preformed concrete is a design decision that results in the use of fewer natural resources (no rebar) and increases the longevity of a building, improving its operational sustainability. This design decision also results in sustainable benefits during the construction phase because fewer trips are required to transport materials to the job site and less energy is required to install the lighter materials on the building. Incorporation of highly efficient heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units is also a design decision; however, the sustainability benefit is achieved during operation, not construction. Thus, the research team has included preformed concrete as a sustainable construction practice, even though control of the decision to use that material is outside the construction phase of a project. Similarly, the research team has excluded other design decisions, such as the use of efficient HVAC units, which have no sustainable benefits during construction. As a result, the research team recommends that, in addition to airport construction contrac- tors, airport planners and designers also review and understand the Collection to incorporate sustainable construction practices in their plans and designs. 4 Sustainable Airport Construction Practices

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 42: Sustainable Airport Construction Practices explores a set of best practices, methods, procedures, and materials that if implemented during construction may have a sustainable, positive economic, operational, environmental, or social effect.

The report includes the collection of sustainable airport construction practices in a searchable, filterable spreadsheet format on a CD-ROM, which is packaged with the report.

The CD-ROM included as part of ACRP Report 42 is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image(Warning: This is a large file that may take some time to download using a high-speed connection.)

CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB’) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operations of this product. TRB makes no representation or warrant of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

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