Washington, D.C. (Aug. 22, 2019)—The LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal Building (CTB) Replacement Project is the first project to earn “Envision” recognition under Envision v3—the latest iteration of the Envision sustainable infrastructure framework developed and managed by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the LaGuardia Airport CTB Replacement Project earned Envision Platinum, indicating the project delivered a heightened range of social, environmental, and economic benefits to the host and affected communities. 

“We are honored to receive the Envision Platinum award for our work in redesigning Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport,” said Stewart Steeves, chief executive officer (CEO) of LaGuardia Gateway Partners. “Since day one, our priority has been building a terminal that offers a first-class guest experience and has a minimal environmental footprint. We’ve worked closely with Skanska-Walsh to create a design and construction approach that allows us to revamp Terminal B in a sustainable fashion, and this award demonstrates our overall commitment to this goal.” 

Project Context & Scope 

The LaGuardia Airport is vital to the regional economy. It employs approximately 10,000 people on- airport and contributes more than $13 billion in economic activity to the region, generating an additional 100,000 jobs and nearly $5 billion in annual wages and salaries. The airport is located on 680 acres in the New York City Borough of Queens. It is a large commercial airport hub that primarily serves domestic markets. Located only a few minutes from Manhattan, LaGuardia Airport serves more than 19 million people. 

PANYNJ embarked on a public-private partnership (P3) to replace the aging and outdated CTB at the LaGuardia Airport which has been operational since its dedication in 1964. It was most recently modernized and expanded in the 1990s. This is the most ambitious P3 ever undertaken in the region and is the largest P3 ever in the United States. Under the P3, LaGuardia Gateway Partners will design, build, operate and maintain a new CTB facility. The P3 contract includes taking over the operations of the existing CTB and designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the new CTB through 2050. The project will be financed using equity, debt, passenger facility charges, retail and airline revenues. 

The original CTB was designed to accommodate 8 million passengers per year. The New CTB will annually serve more than 14 million passengers, positioning the LaGuardia Airport to meet the passenger and airline needs of the 21st century. 

The project consists of multiple components, including a new Terminal B; a Central Hall and a new West Garage with a pedestrian walkway connection between the new Terminal B and the new West Garage; a new central heating and refrigeration plant; a receiving and distribution facility; and the design and construction of contiguous aircraft ramp areas, new contiguous frontage roads and building and site utilities. 

PANYNJ partnered with LaGuardia Gateway Partners (LGP), a consortium of firms, including Skanska, Vantage Airport Group and Meridiam (development and equity investment); Skanska-Walsh (design-build joint venture); HOK and WSP (design); Vantage Airport Group (management of the operations) to deliver this award-winning sustainable project. 

“This award showcases all the effort that went into planning, designing and building the new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport in order to exemplify sustainable infrastructure and deliver a state- of-the-art facility,” said Ryan Prime, Skanska sustainability director and sustainability program manager for the Skanska-Walsh Joint Venture. 

“The announcement of this award follows closely on the heels of the one-year anniversary since the launch of Envision v3,” said Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Managing Director. “We are delighted to have such an impressive project as the $4 billion LaGuardia CTB Replacement Project bring awareness to the Envision v3 sustainable infrastructure framework; a framework that raises the bar for sustainability. On behalf of ISI, I am pleased to award this project Envision Platinum for sustainability. Congratulations to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, LaGuardia Gateway Partners, Skanska Walsh Joint Venture, and the entire project team on this tremendous achievement.” 

The Envision sustainable infrastructure framework assesses project sustainability across five categories: quality of life, leadership, resource allocation, natural world, and climate and resilience. These key areas contribute to positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design, and construction of infrastructure projects. 

Some of the many factors that contributed to the LaGuardia CTB Replacement Project earning an “Envision” platinum award include: 

Improving Resiliency

The new CTB at LaGuardia Airport is highly robust and resilient. The design and operations take into account a range of potential climate change threats, such as seal-level rise, extreme weather events, such as hurricanes and nor’easters, storm surges and heatwaves. To ensure that the Port Authority incorporates climate resiliency in every project, in 2015 the agency adopted Climate Resilience Design Guidelines. The intent of the guidelines is to maximize the long-term safety, service and resilience of the Port Authority’s assets, including the new CTB at LaGuardia Airport—both now and in the future as climate conditions change. 

Planning for Long-Term Monitoring & Maintenance 

In order for infrastructure to be sustainable, it must be designed and built in a way that does not preclude efficient operations and maintenance over the life cycle of the asset. In addition, resources and plans must be put in place that ensure the asset is being managed and monitored to determine if the programs, systems and equipment are functioning as anticipated and that a response plan can be implemented should a fault be detected. To this end, long-term monitoring and maintenance began well before the first shovel hit the ground on this project. 

Included in the commercial terms of this P3, the lease agreement requires LGP to operate, monitor and maintain the asset according to a robust set of expectations set forth by PANYNJ that are to be met throughout the duration of the 30- year concession period. To periodically assess the operations of the terminal and develop solutions to improve the sustainable performance of the project throughout its life, LGP has included in their operations team a sustainability committee that includes key members from the organizations that form the consortium, as well as other important stakeholders such as airline operators and retail companies. 

Quantifying Economic, Social & Environmental Benefits 

The LaGuardia CTB Replacement Project pursued some of the new credits within the Envision v3 framework, such as “Conduct a Life-Cycle Economic Evaluation”in the leadership credit category. This credit encourages the utilization of economic analyses to identify the full economic implications and the broader social and environmental benefits a given project. 

The LaGuardia Airport CTB Replacement project team, using Autocase software, conducted a triple bottom line, cost-benefit analysis over the lifecycle of the project to demonstrate the social, environmental and financial benefits associated with improving energy performance, managing indoor air quality during the construction period, reducing outdoor and indoor water use, reducing heat island effects, using low-emitting materials, and making sustainable siting decisions. 

For more information, visit sustainableinfrastructure.org