Fort Myers, Fla. — Designed by Atkins and completed in June 2013, the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Station at Southwest Florida International Airport has recently earned LEED Gold Certification for sustainable design and construction from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Green Building Certification Institute. The $15.7 million, 31,000-square-foot facility is the first public/government building in Lee County, Florida to receive a LEED Gold rating.

The Atkins-designed ARFF Station at Southwest Florida International Airport is the first public/government building in Lee County to receive a LEED Gold rating for sustainable design and construction. Photo: Aerial Innovations of Florida; used by permission.

“This is one of the nation’s first facilities to be developed under the updated Federal Aviation Administration guidelines for ARFF building design,” said Atkins project manager Darin Larson, PE. “It’s also designed to be one of the most efficient ARFF buildings ever constructed. As a result, the airport will gain long-term benefits through reduced operating and maintenance costs.”

Southwest Florida International Airport ( is one of the top 50 U.S. airports in terms of passenger traffic, serving more than 7.6 million passengers in 2013. Atkins’ project-related services included site selection, planning and design, ARFF programming, architectural planning and design, environmental consultation, and construction administration for the new facility, which accommodates the specialized emergency equipment and personnel who respond to airport emergencies. The facility was developed in conjunction with the Lee County Port Authority’s new Parallel Runway project at Southwest Florida International Airport.

Key sustainability features of the new structure include energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, low-flow water fixtures, a rainwater reclamation system for landscape irrigation, a solar reflective roof system, and special daylighting elements. Separating and recycling waste during the construction process also helped the facility earn its LEED Gold Certification.