Jet, set, go!

11 Sep 2012

Gensler completes Portland International Jetport expansion

Located in Portland, Maine, the Portland International Jetport opened in 1968. Low-cost air carrier service soon turned it into one of the busiest airports in northern New England. To keep up with demand as a popular summer vacation destination, the Jetport underwent two expansions, the most recent in 2012. The combination of the city's desire for an airport representative of the local character and significant traveler increases within the past five years fueled an expansion in 2012.

Maine is known for its pristine natural landscape and resident's deep respect for the local terrain. The state's relatively remote location and sometimes harsh climate fosters a sturdy self-reliant spirit that values simplicity, function, and sustainably sourced materials. Local ordinances require all new municipal buildings to attain LEED® Silver credentials. The Jetport addition maximised space and energy efficiency while communicating the city's commitment to sustainable design. Roughly hewn timbers and exposed industrial hardware represent Maine's deep roots in the shipping industry, and reinforce a way of life that does not stand on pretense or rely on embellishment. Additionally, the expanded Jetport needed to account for overcrowding at security screening checkpoints during peak travel seasons.

Now complete, the Jetport is 160,000 sq ft larger, yet more efficient, and is LEED® Gold certified. The new terminal sits to the northwest of the existing one and includes three new gates, an upgraded baggage handling system, a new ticketing hall, ticketing offices, six passenger screening checkpoint lanes, departures lounges, concessions, and food court seating.

Sustainable features leading to its Gold certification include: the use of natural materials, FSC-certified laminated structural timbers and stormwater runoff holding ponds. A new geothermal system is projected to reduce oil consumption by more than 100,000 gallons per year and prevents the emission of two million pounds of CO2 annually. The 120 geothermal ground wells, each 500-ft deep, heat and cool the building through a low-energy radiant floor system. The airport has received praise from travelers and airport authorities for its resourceful use of space, functional design, and regional vernacular elements.

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