NAICM in Elite Group with Green CredentialTue, 11/01/2016 - 08:58
The world’s most sustainable airports are in Ecuador, US and India, and soon Mexico will be added to that list with the NAICM. Not only will this airport receive the most national and international flights, but it will also have the
206 LEED Platinum Certification. Alicia Silvia, Founder and Director General of consultancy Revitaliza Consultores, is directing the airport toward sustainability. LEED Certifications are difficult to achieve due to the arduous process companies must go through to adapt a building to each of the requirements.
LEED Platinum is the highest certification available, requiring 80 or more points, while Gold is between 60-79 points and Silver require 50-59 points. These certifications not only make the construction eco-friendly but bring investors considerable savings due to the efficient use of resources. “NAICM is leading the way and setting an example for sustainability,” says Silva, of the New Mexico City International Airport slated to come online in 2020. A factor that makes the certification of buildings complex is obtaining local materials that fit the standards. Companies must work together and integrate smaller local firms into their supply chains.
“Regulations for materials have become more stringent and members of the construction industry must have the same commitment as others.” Consultancy firms such as Revitaliza Consultores are looking into Lifecycle Assessments (LCA) and product declarations to ensure the origin of the materials and compliance with regulations. “When products are certified, it means they have followed a clean path and comply with standards,” says Silva.
Airports are beginning to allow Mexican companies that create sustainable materials and technologies to participate in the construction process, as long as they meet standards. If companies began integrating the local economy, it would cause a ripple effect and lead to the development of a manufacturing green hub in Mexico, according to Silva. “Companies could generate the necessary documentation and finally realize that sustainability is nothing to be feared,” she says. So far, many manufacturers, such as those in the carpet sector, have already reaped benefits from these changes. They modified their business models and implemented modular carpeting when they realized the sector was the biggest polluter in the materials segment.
It is important for companies to see that sustainability leads to profitability in the long term. There are many materials that also must be phased out, such as the use of lead-based paint. Although it has been banned in many countries, there is still no regulation against its use in Mexico. “People do not understand that we need to get rid of these heavy metals because they could cause cancer and are damaging the environment. Many manufacturers will reconsider their decision once they fully understand why sustainability is the new trend and that it is here to stay.”