The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has adopted a sustainable, “green” building policy that commits Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) to incorporate the highest possible Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards in all future construction projects at its four airports, airport officials said.

Los Angeles World Airports is the city agency that operates Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT), LA/Palmdale Regional (PMD) and Van Nuys (VNY) airports.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards, which were developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, promote a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in human and environmental health, including sustainable site development, water saving, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

The City of Los Angeles adopted a policy in 2002 that all new city buildings of 7,500 square feet or more in size should be designed, whenever possible, to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards promoted by the Green Building Council.

While the city’s 2002 policy did not apply to projects by Los Angeles World Airports or the other proprietary city departments (Water and Power and the Port of Los Angeles), LAWA staff developed a set of “green” building policies for use on airport projects anyway, airport official said.

In its action, the Board of Airport Commissioners noted that LAX is entering a period of modernization and new construction that could last up to ten years or more and involve millions of square feet of construction.

“Formal establishment of such a policy for LAWA airports is timely and implementation of sustainable design in our projects promises long-term energy savings and waste reduction in airport operations,” board president Alan Rothenberg said.

“Experience has shown that buildings incorporating sustainable design and construction features make for healthier work environments and encourage higher productivity among employees,” he said.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes LAX, said, “The City of Los Angeles needs to show leadership in reducing global warming and redouble our efforts to be good stewards of the environment.”

“Transforming LAX into the greenest airport in the world is a huge step in this direction — one that will not only benefit the citizens of Los Angeles, but help in the global fight against climate change.”

The airport commissioners further declared that, should the Green Building Council adopt standards specifically applicable to airport facilities, LAWA would formally pursue the highest practical Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification “for all projects planned and built after adoption of those standards.”

As a result, Los Angeles World Airport staff was directed to develop a comprehensive sustainability program that addresses all environmental aspects of the agency’s operations and an implementation plan for the policy.