Heritage Flight Week, Day 5

by TruexCullins, February 18, 2011

White and Bright
For the final day of Heritage Flight Week, we take a look inside the main hangar bay, the space that is the heart of the whole operation.
Aviation is an energy-intensive industry, with a heavy carbon footprint.  In fact, the aviation industry as a whole accounts for 3% of all global carbon emissions.  As you’ve seen over these past few days, the Heritage facility has taken extraordinary measures to counteract this impact and promote a sustainable model for the industry.  This is evident in the main hangar bay, where aircraft is stored, repaired and maintained.
The main hangar bay is designed to maximize daylighting and exterior views for the benefit of the maintenance workers.  Twelve overhead skylights and large expanses of glazing on the east and south walls provide abundant natural light and allow for views to the exterior.  Large scale ceiling-mounted circulation fans at the high hangar bay minimize stratification of conditioned air and improve indoor air quality.  Finally, all the interior surfaces in the 32,000 sq.ft. hangar were painted white to maximize the ambient light level and minimize the need for artificial lighting through much of the day.  Many days, the artificial lights aren’t even needed, and further power is conserved by relying solely on natural illumination.
A building energy model was used to compute the projected energy savings from all of these energy and environmental initiatives: the efficiency improvements to the building shell, the mechanical and electrical loads, and the power generated by the on-site renewables.  According to the model, the Heritage Aviation facility is realizing a 38% energy savings over a standard commercial building of the same size.  Actual data from the first year of operation indicates even better energy performance.  The facility has now been in operation since January, 2010, and during this time, the building has seen a savings in gas and electricity consumption of 54% over a conventional office/warehouse building.
Beyond the very real financial savings are a number of intangible longterm benefits, including employee retention and morale.  The end result is a quality facility that benefits the employees, clients, and community.

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