San Francisco International Airport's new Terminal 2 has been awarded LEED Gold certification for sustainable building, the first airport facility in the U.S. to achieve the ranking.
Airport director John Martin was at T2 Thursday to gather community leaders, construction and design partners who worked on the project and U.S. Green Business Council executive director Dan Geiger for a ceremony to officially receive the certification award.
"It's official," Martin said. "We're LEED Gold Certified."
The USGBC -- which rates structures according to energy efficiency, water conservation and environmentally beneficial details -- awarded gold status to the $383-million terminal because of its many attributes that support green building practices, Geiger said.
Johanna Partin, director of Climate Protection Initiatives for the city of San Francisco, called SFO "one of our city departments that has really taken sustainability to new heights."
T2 -- which opened for business in April -- is 15 percent more energy efficient than California's building codes require, Geiger said.
Plumbing fixtures are 40 percent more efficient than standard fixtures, and all the water used in the terminal's bathroom facilities is reclaimed.
All of the containers and packaging used by T2's organic and local food vendors are required to be made from recycled materials, and ample skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows significantly reduce the facility's electricity requirement during daylight hours.
Geiger called San Francisco "the greenest city in the U.S." and said that more projects that mirror SFO's commitment to build sustainability into its long-term goals is what is needed to "make the planet livable again."
"I think of green building as what we really need more of around the world," Geiger said. "I think it's really powerful."
Martin agreed, adding that SFO should serve as an example to future airport projects around the globe.
"Every new terminal should be LEED certified, and maybe we're helping in that cause," he said.