As an emblem of biodiversity, the Ecuadorian islands is the example regarding sustainable architecture. Construction of the terminal in Baltra is finished, complete with control of the wind, which offers natural air conditioning while the sun supplies light and energy.
One year after beginning the construction, the ecological airport of Galapagos on the island of Baltra, situated about 1000 kilometres from the Ecuadorian coast, opened its doors. Designed according to the principles of bio-climatic architecture, this new building exploits the natural resources of its environment to minimize its energy consumption.
The construction required a 24 million dollar investment and was entrusted to the international holding, America Corporation, which will insure the operation of the site during the next 15 years.
To reduce the energy consumption of the airport, its designers opted for natural air conditioning. The building contains wide openings directed so as to direct the breeze, to generate a permanent ventilation. In the rare spaces where natural circulation) is impossible, subterranean pipes bring up cool air from underground.
The numerous openings provide natural lighting, which is increased thanks to numerous internal façades painted with clear colours. Furthermore, the airport works exclusively during day, to limit the need for electricity. The building generated 35% of its energy requirement through the use of photovoltaic panels, with the remaining 65% being generated by strategically placed windmills within the airport. Some simple arithmetic shows the building works 100% with renewable energy.
Fresh water is an equally precious resource in the Galápagos, with the island of Baltra counting no water sources of its own. It is the desalination plant which will satisfy the needs for the airport, and it is for this reason that its designers made special efforts by recycling, for example the water from the washbasins is used to flush the toilets.