San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport Case Study Image
The project resulted in a beautiful, functional space and LEED®1 Platinum certification.
San Diego International Airport’s largest-ever project is The Green Build – an $820 million expansion to modernize the airport and improve visitors’ experience. The project means a faster and easier journey through the airport for more than 50,000 visitors daily. It also means a greener experience, as the environment was a top priority for the airport. The project resulted in a beautiful, functional space and LEED®1 Platinum certification. Such success has been possible because of myriad factors – appliances, building materials, design, etc. One of the factors contributing to both visitor experience and airport sustainability is a new fleet of hand dryers – Jet Towel High-speed Hand Dryers from Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Cooling & Heating Division (Mitsubishi Electric).

Chris Rose, the airport’s lead electrician, provides input on various projects and oversees the electrical staff. Addressing his efforts during The Green Build as well as his team’s general practices, he said, “We’re constantly seeking ways to save money through efficiency and best practices, so I wanted to install newer, energy-efficient fixtures throughout the airport, including hand dryers.”

Rose and his team knew that modern dryers would be installed in 20 public-use restrooms as part of The Green Build – and eventually in 35 more public-use restrooms as part of a larger restroom remodeling project. With so much traffic each day, picking the right dryer was important. To select a dryer, various products from multiple manufacturers were tested in the airport’s Facility Maintenance Department building.

Rose said, “Staff liked how much quieter the Jet Towels performed over comparable products. In addition, the function to turn the heater on and off was desirable as it helps reduce the dryers’ energy use,” aiding in the airport’s sustainability goals. Those goals pervaded the entire project, from the products selected to how material waste was handled. Finding energy-efficient dryers meant a great deal to the team.

The trial also revealed the importance of a catch basin feature. “This feature from Mitsubishi [Electric] reduced possible safety hazards.” Less water on the floor also means less maintenance, making it “easy for the airport’s janitorial service provider to maintain and clean the units.”

Rose was also pleased to note an additional sustainability success: “General observation has been that more passengers are using the Mitsubishi [Electric] units than paper towels.” Seeing a decrease in paper garbage is a big win for the airport.

The largest mark of success, of course, is the airport’s long list of sustainability awards that have resulted from The Green Build. Among them is the immense honor of having earned the world’s first LEED Platinum certification for a commercial airport terminal. These awards signal the airport’s demonstrated success in providing all guests with a healthy, sustainable experience.
  • Background to Installation
  • Previous Drying System
    Paper Towels
  • Installation Sites
    Restrooms throughout the facility
  • Number Installed

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