Chch Airport energy efficiency recognised
Behind the glass, steel and timber, artesian water courses through the walls of Christchurch Airport.
The water is extracted from a natural aquifer under the airport’s newest terminal, used to heat and cool the building. The initiative is one of a range aimed at reducing the building’s energy consumption and the planes that dock outside it each day.
Since 2013, the airport reduced its energy consumption by 21 per cent. In the last 12 months, enough energy was saved to power 120 homes for a year.
‘‘We are very proud of [the team], especially given these savings have been achieved when we’ve had record numbers of passengers through the terminal,’’ airport sustainability and strategy manager Rhys Boswell said.
The airport’s efforts were recognised at the recent NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards where they took out the Efficiency Champion category.
‘‘Our aim was to have the terminal’s annual energy use at 24 kilowatt hours per square metre by 2017. The team smashed that target quickly. They then broke our goal for 2020 (23.5kWh), and then the target we set for 2025 (22.5kWh),’’ Boswell said.
For the 2017 financial year, the terminal used 19.3kWh.
Christchurch Airport was the first to use the aquifer system in New Zealand. Similar systems were installed at the Pita Te Hori Centre on Cambridge Tce, and the restored Arts Centre, both in Christchurch. Water is sent through a heat exchanger system which created warm or cold water in a separate system. The water is then returned uncontaminated to the aquifer.
The new Novotel hotel nearby would not be connected to the system, nor other airport buildings. A spokeswoman said the idea was investigated but the predominantly freight campus ‘‘didn’t really support a district energy system’’.
The airport also installed ground power units at four of 15 jet stands, meaning planes could turn their engines off while docked but keep their systems running. Boswell said further ground power units would be installed soon.
‘‘Every day when the Emirates A380 flies in, it plugs into the ground power unit and saves 1000 kilograms of fuel, or 3150 kilograms of carbon emissions each turnaround,’’ Boswell said.
LED lights were also installed, and electric vehicles had been introduced to their fleet.
The airport has since implemented its first Sustainability Strategy, which Boswell said ‘‘motivates the team to innovate and try new things so we improve our sustainability performance. The important thing is that we continue to improve overall’’.
"Every day when the Emirates A380 flies in, it plugs into the ground power unit and saves 1000 kilograms of fuel." Rhys Boswell, Christchurch Airport
Since 2013, Christchurch Airport lowered their energy consumption by 21 per cent.