From the Grand Ole Opry to the live musicians belting out tunes on Lower Broadway, Nashville has exploded in popularity as a tourist destination over the last decade. Nashville International Airport (BNA) has struggled to keep pace with the growth in tourism, with 16.1 million visitors in fiscal year 2019-2020, according to Visit Nashville. The airport embarked on a multi-year expansion project, called BNA Vision, in order to create a larger airport that can accommodate travelers, while reducing the impact on the environment.
The 115,000-square-foot Concourse D opened in July 2020 with six new aircraft gates for domestic travelers. The new terminal includes extra space for future passenger growth. There are modern touches from floor to ceiling, art displays and device charging stations built into seating. However, the most striking feature of the new Concourse D is its LEED® Silver certification, allowing BNA to become one of just nine airport facilities worldwide to be certified under LEED® v4 standards.
According to Architecture 2030, embodied carbon in the building sector accounts for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions. From the start, architects sought sustainable building practices and materials, reducing the carbon footprint and waste from the construction. They also sourced materials that would cut carbon for years to come through improving energy efficiency inside Concourse D.
Fentress Architects selected Kingspan Insulated Panels to supply 58,127-square-feet of Designwall 2000 and Designwall 4000 panels.The panels are foamed-in-place, and often used for large scale projects because they offer design flexibility. Designwall4000 panelscontain QuadCore®, Kingspan’s most advanced closed-cell insulation core, which provides R-values of up to 8 per inch. Architects chose Champagne Gold for the color, in order to retain less heat. The panels help BNA achieve its goal of reducing energy consumption in concert with a geothermal cooling system,automatically dimmable lights and electrochromic glass that blocks out excessive light and heat. By reducing operational carbon, the insulated metal panels allow Nashville Concourse D to lessen its environmental impact for years to come.
Kingspan also helped BNA’s Concourse D meet its carbon reduction goals, simply by the way they’re manufactured. Panels with QuadCore®contain up to 28% less embodied carbon when compared to traditional industrial claddings, according to a study by architecture planning and research firm,KieranTimberlake. QuadCore® technology is GREENGUARD Gold certified and earns a Red List Free classification, putting passenger health and safety first; a critical component for LEED® certification.
With Concourse D taking 25 months to complete, BNA is continuing a major expansion over the next few years with a new terminal for international arrivals, hotel and entrance. As BNA Vision construction continues, Concourse D is already setting an example for the world as an airport facility that prioritizes sustainability, while ensuring maximum passenger comfort.