Net Zero Energy Aviation Terminal

Case Study:
ATW General Aviation Terminal
Appleton, Wisconsin

Click here for the PDF version of the ATW General Aviation Case Study.

NET Zero Energy General Aviation Terminal

The ATW General Aviation Terminal building is used to support general aviation activities at the Outagamie County Regional Airport, providing a comfortable environment for passengers, pilots and staff. The terminal is a high performance building that connects to the environment by using natural materials and by interacting with the natural environment. The asymmetrically curved structure rises out of waving prairie grasses. Arched wood beams pass from outside the building to the interior, revealing the building’s structure and evoking the barrel-vaulted aviation hangars of the past as it reaches into the future. Inside the building, the abundant use of wood finishes creates real warmth, supporting the building in its main purpose of providing comfort and shelter to travelers.

As part of the Airport’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, ambitious energy performance and sustainability goals were set for the new General Aviation terminal, including saving 80% of total energy usage over a conventional building by using efficient building systems, using renewable energy and purchasing the remainder of the building’s energy needs from green energy sources. Additionally, the building has a highly insulated envelope, generous overhangs and skylights allow daylight into the center of the building.

Pollution Reductions:

As a class D Net Zero Energy Building, the terminal building produces or purchases enough renewable energy to offset emissions from all of the energy it uses annually.

General Aviation Termal - Pollution Reductions

Project Summary

  • Size: 8,150 SF
  • Building Description: two-story wood frame
  • Occupancy Types: Assembly, Business
  • Completed: August, 2013

Project Team

  • Owner: Outagamie County Regional Airport
  • Architect: Mead & Hunt, Inc.
  • General Contractor: SMA Construction Services, LLC
  • Energy Modeling/Sustainability Goals: Sustainable Engineering Group
  • Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing Engineer: Mead & Hunt, Inc
ATW Regional Airport General Aviation Terminal Chart

Efficiency & Sustainability Strategies

Design Process

  • The Airport Sustainable Master Plan, which was implemented prior to be- ginning design for the General Aviation building, identified comprehensive sustainable strategies for the airport.
  • An integrative design process set efficiency goals that were referenced throughout the process.
  • During the design process, energy modeling simulated the building’s en- ergy consumption, prompting modifications to the building that reduced the annual energy use intensity by 80.7% and peak electrical demand from 37.21 kW to 10.73 kW.

Sustainable Site

  • Landscaping and site work restored habitat and preserved stormwater quality near the building.
  • A light-colored roof and extensive overhangs prevent heat buildup in and around the building.
  • The judicious use of exterior lighting allows building users to see at night, but reduces light pollution.

Water Efficiency

  • Using efficient plumbing fixtures resulted in a 40.23% reduction of water demand compared to a traditional building.
  • The native and adapted plant species used in the building site don’t require potable water.
Projected Annual Utility Savings:
Energy (k/Btu/SF/yr)
Traditional Baseline Building
Geothermal Heat Pump
Building Envelope
Lighting Power Reduction
Photovoltaic System
Thermal Massing
Radiant Flooring
Purchase Green Power

Energy Efficiency

  • The building was designed using ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2009 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings for a comprehensive building sustainability package.
  • The building envelope is well-insulated and tightly sealed.
  • A geothermal heat pump and in-floor radiant flooring optimized energy performance.
  • Refrigerants used in the building’s HVAC systems are not CFC-based.
  • A 25 kW photovoltaic system mounted on the south-facing portion of the roof provides approximately 29,000 kWh/year. The remainder of power needs will be met by purchasing renewable energy from a local energy provider.
  • High efficiency lighting is used throughout the building and well-placed skylights and windows reduce the need for artificial lighting during day- light hours.
  • Commissioning of building systems to monitor performance was done during design and will continue to be done during occupancy.

Materials and Resources

  • A total of 76.7% of construction waste was recycled or salvaged during the construction process, diverting it from local landfills.
  • Many of the materials used in the construction of this building are avail- able locally or that contain recycled material.
  • The building construction makes extensive use of wood, much of which has been harvested sustainably.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • The materials used in this building, such as paints and adhesives, emit few or no volatile organic compounds.
  • The building has increased ventilation and the quality of indoor air is mon- itored, contributing to the health and well-being of building occupants.
  • Building occupants will have the ability to control temperature and light in the indoor environment, contributing to their comfort.
  • Throughout the building, well-placed windows will provide a visual con- nection to the outdoors.
General Aviation Terminal
General Aviation Terminal
General Aviation Terminal
General Aviation Terminal
General Aviation Terminal