March 14, 2019

BNA's geothermal cooling system earns Speas Airport Award

For creativity used in turning an abandoned rock quarry into a source for energy and cost savings, the Nashville International Airport was recently presented with the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Airport Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Garver was part of the design-build team on the project, which turned an abandoned rock quarry into the largest geothermal cooling system of its kind in North America, now a source for 50 percent reduction in energy consumption, helping the airport save an expected $430,000 per year. 

The Speas Award, cosponsored by the AIAA, the American Association of Airport Executives, and the Airport Consultants Council, honors those judged to have contributed to the enhancement of relationships between airports and surrounding environments through innovation. The award has previously been presented to airports in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Denver.

“This project is a testament to what can be accomplished when forward-thinking partners choose to innovate when presented an opportunity,” said Garver Vice President Ryan Sisemore. “We love to solve problems that way, too, so we were proud to work with BNA in turning what was once a liability into an asset.”

For the project, Garver designed the pipeline corridor including a crossing of Runway 2R-20L and Taxiway Hotel. The corridor is a loop which circulates water from submerged heat exchangers where 79-degree water is cooled to 63-degrees and returned to the terminal for cooling. Garver also worked with the airport to schedule construction phasing to take advantage of needed maintenance on the runway.

Garver and BNA have a long-standing history of teaming to improve the mobility of the area’s residents. In addition to the geothermal cooling project, Garver recently provided design and construction support to reconstruct a portion of Runway 13-31 and to expand the airport’s main terminal apron.

Garver is celebrating its centennial year in 2019. To learn more, visit our centennial celebration page

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