The recently completed receiving and distribution center at San Diego International Airport has received Gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

A statement from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which oversees the airport, said the 23,000-square-foot facility is the first at San Diego International to attain Gold certification, and the first airport receiving and distribution facility in the world to earn such a designation. Gold is the second-highest LEED certification available, after Platinum.

Airport authority President and CEO Thella Bowens said the certification will help raise awareness about using green building principles.

“We’re committed to incorporating significant sustainable features into each new construction project at SDIA and to working with airport partners to achieve the same level of commitment to sustainable building and operating practices,” Bowens said, in the statement.

The receiving and distribution facility opened in December on the north side of the airfield, providing a central delivery location for food, beverage, retail and other goods used at the airport.

Officials said the facility was recognized for reducing daily delivery truck traffic on Harbor Drive by 50-75 trips, using recycled materials during construction, deploying a solar-powered hot water system, and using trucks fueled with biodiesel created from recycled cooking oil, among other features.

The airport is nearing completion of its $1 billion Green Build, involving renovations to the main passenger terminal and related structures.

— SDBJ Staff Report