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exico City’s new international airport to be named most sustainable airport in the world

Its latest development is one of several ‘green’ initiatives currently in place or being planned at airports globally in the future.

Plans for Mexico City’s new international airport, which aims to be world’s most sustainable airport, were revealed last year. The Mexican capital's new airport will be designed by Norman Foster, the British architect responsible for the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe) and the dome of Berlin’s Reichstag building. The new hub, expected to be completed by 2018, will use minimal energy and offer an efficient passenger experience with shorter walking distances.

Instead of a group of average warehouse-like terminals, the airport will use a single giant structure wrapped in a unique skin that lets in natural light and air, collects rainwater and provides incredible views of planes circling the sky.

In the original brief, the Mexican government wanted two separate terminals but the designers were able to condense everything into one large space. In part, their goal was to avoid the usual airport train between terminals, which would have been difficult to build on the site. Travellers will be able to easily walk between gates, making connections less annoying and saving energy.

Most of the time the airport won't use air conditioning, taking advantage of Mexico City's high elevation and drawing in fresh air from outside. The airport will also treat and recycle its own water. The lightweight building will be designed with low-energy, locally-sourced prefab materials that can be quickly constructed.

Heathrow’s Terminal 2, which opened last year, was the first airport terminal in the world to be certified by BREAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), the world’s longest established building sustainability rating system.

T2’s eco-friendly features include “skylights and 10 metre-high, floor-to-ceiling windows that maximise the natural light” and “sophisticated lighting control systems that keep energy use down by switching off the LED lights when parts of the building are not in use.” The terminal’s close proximity to the runways also helps cut carbon emission by reducing aircraft taxiing times.

To hire an eco friendly, low emission vehicle from one of Green Motion's airport locations or downtown locations worldwide, visit greenmotion.com.