The Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC) has invested nearly $5 million in upgrades in order to be environmentally friendly.
In a recent email exchange, Peter Frazier, interim RIAC president, said he estimates that annual savings exceeded $700,000 based on initiates regarding energy savings during the past two fiscal years.
Upgrades at Green Airport include new lighting systems, balanced restaurant exhaust controls, the installation of special escalator controls, better managed power demand, and more.
A little more than a month ago, Frazier appeared on “ReNewable Now,” a show dedicated to the “business side of ‘green.’” Peter Arpin, an environmental entrepreneur and a partner of the moving company Arpin International Group, hosts it.
The segment showcased many of the efforts the airport and RIAC have made to be as “green” as possible. Arpin said he views T.F. Green as “one of the major resources in Warwick,” and that “it's expanding and trying to do it in a ‘green’ manner.”
Frazier agrees and also praised Arpin’s hard work to spread the word about the importance of moving toward a more sustainable future in the developing “green” economy.
“My experience on the ‘Renewal Now’ Warwick show was very positive [and] I believe Peter Arpin’s efforts are extremely important,” Frazier said in a recent email exchange. “Peter’s show is emphasizing not just the savings that ‘green’ technologies offer, but also the potential business opportunities for entering into a ‘green’ industry. We live in a free market society. Highlighting ‘green’ savings and income possibilities is a pragmatic way to promote the environment.”
According to Frazier, one of the recent examples of RIAC’s “green” efforts is the fact that the organization participated in an investment grade audit of its energy systems.
As a result, said Frazier, RIAC entered into an Energy Savings Performance Contract, which identified multiple ways that they could conserve energy.
Additionally, as part of a Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management initiate, RIAC retrofitted 30 diesel vehicles to reduce emissions.
T.F. Green has a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station available for public and private use, said Frazier. In fact, RIAC owns seven CNG-powered vehicles and requires that their parking shuttle buses use CNG, as well.
Additionally, he said there are two electric vehicle-charging stations, or “juice bars,” at the Interlink parking facility and more are being contemplated for other airport parking facilities.
To further decrease vehicle emissions, Frazier said the recently opened cell phone parking lot is intended, in part, to help reduce the number of vehicles looping the airport circular while awaiting a passenger’s arrival.
Also, one of the key concepts of the Interlink project was to consolidate all of the rental car companies in one location.
“At the Interlink facility, the rental car companies can wash and fuel their vehicles,” Frazier said. “This consolidated feature dramatically reduced the number of rental cars on Airport and Post Roads being jockeyed from remote sites to the rental parking lots.”
Within the Interlink facility itself, at least seven “green” concepts were implemented, including the use of sun shades to reduce solar glare in the summer and maximize gain in winter; the use of regionally manufactured materials, such as the pieces of pre-cast concrete for the garage; energy-efficient elevators and moving sidewalks, high-efficiency, non-condensing boilers; energy-efficient lighting systems and lighting-control systems utilizing photocells, occupancy sensors and time switches; water-conserving toilets, urinals and lavatory faucets; plus
the utilization of recycled construction materials, including steel, aluminum and fly ash in concrete.
Interestingly enough, the flooring throughout the terminal connection, Skywalk and Customer Service Building is made of a recycled rubber material.
“It is important to try to demonstrate how RIAC is trying to be as ‘green’ as practicable,” Frazier said. “[The show] was a nice format to show where RIAC and the city have common interests and can continue to work together in a collegial and collaborative manner. In this regard, the proximity of both the Interlink and the airport relative to the Warwick Station District are ideal for synergistic undertakings.”