Photo courtesy of SFO. Photo by Alain McLaughlin.

I’ve always felt that San Francisco was at the forefront of green technology. No other city seems to walk the walk like San Francisco with its LEED-certified hotels, government buildings and museums. Now, San Francisco will have a LEED gold airport terminal.

Scheduled for completion this spring, San Francisco International will open a new terminal for Virgin America airlines. According to the airport and media outlets, the new terminal will be the first LEED gold terminal in the country.

The project will employ ventilation systems that will use approximately 20 percent less energy than systems previously used at the airport. The terminal will also include a number of skylights, which will provide a source of natural light and cut down on electricity. Also, builders were able to recycle approximately 90 percent of the debris that was created during construction of the terminal.

Besides the mechanical and electrical elements, there are some very interesting green highlights. For example, travelers with hybrid vehicles will get preferred parking at the airport. The terminal’s food choices will also be more sustainable. Instead of the usual run-of-the-mill fast food restaurants, the new SFO terminal will provide organic food grown locally.