Vancouver International Airport terminal project aims to reduce emissions

Vancouver International Airport at dusk.
Photo Credit: Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport is set to undergo a remarkable improvement in its main terminal’s building performance.

YVR Airport expects the upgrades to infrastructure will reduce the terminal’s greenhouse gas emissions by 855 tonnes annually.

This positive change is being made possible by a collective investment exceeding $3.5 million from the Canadian and British Columbian governments.

Greener Infrastructure Unveiled

MP Wilson Miao, B.C. Minister George Heyman, and Christoph Rufenacht from Vancouver International Airport recently revealed a pivotal project designed to champion clean energy solutions.

The core of this initiative involves a fundamental shift from natural gas to electricity for domestic water heating in the main terminal building.


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This move towards electrification is a key step in the airport’s commitment to sustainability.

Photo Credit: Vancouver International Airport

Electrifying Change: Reducing Emissions

By embracing this innovative approach, the project aims to decarbonize three domestic hot water loops through the integration of air-source heat pumps.

This not only marks a departure from conventional heating methods but also presents a tangible solution to lower carbon emissions.

These upgrades are projected to slash the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by an impressive 855 tonnes annually.

Beyond the numbers, these improvements are strategically tailored to seamlessly integrate into the airport’s daily operations.

The shift to electricity for domestic water heating ensures that crucial areas such as food preparation zones and washrooms are serviced efficiently.

This not only enhances operational effectiveness but also demonstrates a commitment to minimizing the airport’s environmental footprint.

Political Support

MP Wilson Miao, speaking on behalf of Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure, and Communities, emphasized the significance of such green retrofits.

He highlighted how these initiatives contribute to modernizing facilities and, one building at a time, actively combat climate change.

The Vancouver International Airport (YVR), as a bustling hub serving thousands of Canadians daily, stands as a beacon in promoting healthy and sustainable communities.

A crowd of passengers at Vancouver International Airport
Photo Credit: Vancouver International Airport

Minister George Heyman, responsible for Environment and Climate Change Strategy in British Columbia, expressed the provincial government’s commitment to reducing carbon pollution.

He emphasized the role of projects like these in creating job opportunities and fostering a cleaner economy.

The collaboration with the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program underscores the joint effort to build climate-resilient public infrastructure for a safer and better future.

Striving for Net Zero

Christoph Rufenacht, Vice President of Airport Development and Asset Optimization at Vancouver International Airport, articulated the airport’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2030.

He stressed the necessity of prioritizing innovation and collaboration to significantly cut carbon emissions.

Expressing gratitude to the Governments of Canada and British Columbia for their partnership, Rufenacht envisioned the airport becoming a sustainability benchmark and a hub of innovation that positively impacts the local economy and environment.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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