Global warming? Don't blame this hangar

Business Jet Traveler » February 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 4:00am

Charter/management company Avjet has moved into a new "green" hangar at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif. The facility, Hangar 25, is the first hangar to be certified at the platinum level by the U.S. Green Building Council, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green-building rating system.

Shangri-La Industries, which was founded by businessman and environmentalist Steve Bing, built the hangar for about $17 million. Avjet is leasing it from Shangri-La, which holds the lease on the property. The facility is large enough to accommodate two Boeing 757s plus some regular business jets.

A key feature of Hangar 25 is the 240-kilowatt Kyocera solar panel array on the roof, which supplies 110 percent of the building's power needs. This includes recharging the ground-power systems that can run an airplane's air conditioner before engine start, thus avoiding wasting jet fuel and eliminating excessive noise. The hangar's concrete floor reflects an abundance of light thanks to a diamond-polishing process that is expected to last 25 years and obviates the need to reapply toxic epoxy sealants. Hi-fog fire extinguishing can put out a blaze before it spreads without the use of damaging foam. Twenty-four-foot Big Ass Fans help keep hangar air cool in summer and circulate warm air from the ceiling in winter. Grass-like Synlawn landscaping makes watering unnecessary.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy