Solar Airport Building Sets European Carbon First

Airport 1975
A British airport has set what's thought to be a European precedent with the completion of a new structure that ultimately releases no emissions into the atmosphere.

By drawing on renewable energy technologies, including solar (photovoltaic) cells on its roof, Bournemouth Airport's arrivals hall is considered the first true carbon neutral airport structure to go into operation in any of the Eu's 27 states. Other Eco-features have also been included, as the airport's managing director, Rob Goldsmith, explained. "We believe the new arrivals hall to be Europe's first carbon neutral airport building and the new solar panel system is at the heart of its energy-efficient design and specification", he said, in a statement.

"What's more, the new building features passive lighting and ventilation throughout, solar shading, the use of air source heat pumps and a computerized building management system that controls the heating, lighting and cooling to maximize resource efficiency".
"In every respect, it is an airport building for the future."

Carbon Neutral Airport Building 
Planning approval for this carbon neutral airport building was originally awarded in April 2010. At the time, Mr Goldsmith described what was to come as an "innovative structure", set to produce only 30 per cent of the CO2 emissions produced by the existing arrivals hall and set to be opened in Summer 2011.

The solar cells are individually rated at 230 watts but, together, create a 74.98 kilowatt array and were put in place by photovoltaic technology firm South Facing. Mounted on top of the revitalized arrivals hall, the cells have been deliberately positioned to harness maximum available levels of solar energy, with half of them angled at 30 degrees to the ground and the remainder, 15 degrees.

Solar Airport Buildings
"The project certainly posed some technical challenges", South Facing's MD, Clive Collison, admitted, in a further solar airport building statement,

"But such an advanced and comprehensive solar power installation takes full advantage of southern orientation of the new Terminal's roof and the fact that the airport is located in one of the sunniest areas in the country".

Bournemouth Airport is in the south of England and, in 2010, handled approximately 750,000 passengers. While not among the UK's largest air travel hubs, it's used by seven different passenger carriers, including Ryanair and Thomas Cook Airlines, and it's also an active air cargo site.