The National Academies

ACRP 09-10 [Final]

Benchmarking and Profiling Airport Terminal Energy End Uses

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Research Agency: Texas A&M University Engineering Experiment Station
Principal Investigator: Jeff Haberl
Effective Date: 9/16/2013
Completion Date: 9/30/2015

Airports operate as businesses and therefore need to make a business case for capital expenditures.  These types of decisions include investments in energy consuming equipment or energy efficiency measures. To calculate an expected return on investment (ROI) the anticipated energy end use costs must be known or reasonably estimated.   When it comes to terminal energy usage it may not be practical for an airport to capture their own energy end use data and it is not effective or practical for an individual airport to gather benchmark data for similar facilities.  
It is relatively easy to find data on energy end use for office buildings and warehouses as building systems are more or less the same across industries and sectors. Variations amongst airports make it difficult to compare terminal energy end uses. Since there has been little tracking of energy end uses for airport terminals, there hasn’t been an effective way to benchmark the data that airports can use to help justify, prioritize, and determine replacement or retrofitting decisions.
Gathering the energy end use data will aid in the development of the benchmarks and is only the first step. As airports become more mature in their collection and/or modeling of their terminal energy end uses and data becomes more widely available, benchmarking then can become more precise in assisting airports in properly allocating costs and in making decisions regarding retrofitting or replacing terminal systems and equipment. Research is needed to provide the initial data and benchmarks to allow airports to have a frame of reference for their terminal energy end uses.
The objectives of this research are to:
(1) Create initial energy use intensity (EUI) benchmarks by gathering data to measure, estimate, or model energy end uses in airport passenger terminals. These benchmarks will assist in managing energy usage and evaluating business decisions for replacing or retrofitting equipment and systems. Energy use intensity (EUI) benchmarks should be established for each type of system in the terminal and should account at a minimum for the following terminal characteristics:
  • Number of enplaned passengers;
  • Square footage of the building;
  • Building/space volume;
  • Climate zone;
  • Conditioned versus unconditioned space;
  • Use of space (e.g., tenant, concessions, baggage make-up, IT server room, TSA checkpoint, central plant versus stand-alone, etc…); and
  • Age of facility/system/equipment.
(2) Develop EUI profiles for energy end uses for several representative airport terminals. The representative terminals should be identified based upon the above characteristics which can then be used by airports to quickly identify an estimated EUI with which to benchmark their energy end uses. The step-by-step process used to develop the EUI profiles for the representative airports should also be provided so that it can be replicated by airport operators. 
Status:  The Airport Terminal Building Energy Use Intensity (ATB-EUI) Benchmarking Tool has been published as ACRP CD-ROM 178. 

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