BNA’s New Concourse D Awarded LEED Silver Certification for Green Design and Construction

Tuesday January 5, 2021

One of Only Nine Airport Facilities in the World to Attain U.S. Green Building Council Distinction Under Rigorous LEED v4 Standards

Nashville International Airport’s new Concourse D has received the prestigious LEED Silver certification for sustainable design and construction—making it one of only nine newly constructed airport facilities in the world to attain this distinction under the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) rigorous LEED v4 standards.

With this certification, Concourse D becomes one of five LEED v4 Silver airport facilities in the nation and the first in Tennessee.

LEED certification is a coveted mark of environmental distinction and innovation,” said BNA President and CEO Doug Kreulen. “We’re building not only a bigger airport, but also a better, ‘greener,’ more sustainable airport. I’m proud of our commitment to these principles and appreciative of all the hard work that went into obtaining this recognition.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by USGBC, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence. USGBC routinely updates LEED guidance in an effort to continue raising the bar on what it means to be a high-performing, sustainable building. According to USGBC, BNA’s use of the rigorous LEED v4 standards demonstrates its commitment to delivering healthy, efficient and sustainable spaces.

LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize our buildings and communities by providing everyone with access to healthy, green and high performing buildings,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC. “BNA’s Concourse D is a prime example of how the innovative work of project teams can create local solutions that contribute to making a global difference.

Concourse D is BNA’s fourth major concourse and a major component of BNA® Vision, the dynamic expansion and renovation plan for Nashville International Airport. The $292 million facility opened in July 2020 with six domestic aircraft gates, 115,000 SF of terminal space, compelling public art displays and a variety of amenities for travelers. LEED-certified buildings, like BNA’s Concourse D, are designed to reduce carbon emissions, conserve resources and support the health and well-being of those inside the space.

Examples of “green” components and practices that factored into the LEED Silver certification awarded Concourse D include:

  • Energy efficient and programmable lighting that dims when natural light is adequate for visibility.
  • Electrochromic glass that blocks out excessive sunlight and heat for passengers’ comfort while reducing glare and energy consumption for climate control.
  • Geothermal cooling, which harnesses natural resources (water from a former quarry on-site at BNA) and reduces energy consumption and costs for climate control.
  • Water-conserving plumbing.
  • Light-colored building and paving materials that retain less heat, reducing energy use for climate control and mitigating the heat-island effect.
  • Waste-reduction focus with recycling bins throughout the concourse and 80 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills.
  • Emphasis on human health and well-being with green cleaning practices, water bottle filling stations for hydration, an abundance of natural light, multiple art installations and more.
  • An integrative process by project team members that uses a holistic approach to building systems, equipment and components to help achieve high levels of building performance, human comfort and environmental benefits.
  • In addition to its green focus, Concourse D was built with customer convenience in mind with features including a mother’s room, indoor service animal relief area, two sets of restrooms (including family restrooms), device charging stations integrated into gate seating and a fresh, modern look from floor to ceiling.

Concourse D was built by Hensel Phelps and designed by Fentress Architects. Other key partners included Corgan (master architect for BNA Vision), I. C. Thomasson Associates Inc. (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer), Smith Seckman Reid Inc. (commissioning agent) and S&ME (civil engineer/landscape designer).

The project represents more than 1 million hours of labor by more than 2,100 workers, 78 percent of whom were local. Additionally, the project included more than $55 million in contracts for small, minority and woman-owned business enterprises (SMWBEs) as part of BNA’s ongoing commitment to diversity and economic inclusion. Seventy certified firms participated in the project.

BNA Vision is dramatically remaking Nashville International Airport to meet future demand and existing needs. By 2023, projects completed under BNA Vision will include a larger central terminal, a state-of-the-art International Arrivals Facility, expanded central security checkpoint, an on-airport hotel, Concourse D, new ticketing and baggage claim space, top-to-bottom terminal renovation, a variety of new dining, retail and service amenities and a massive terminal parking garage complex.

The new LEED Silver certification is part of a larger sustainability focus for BNA Vision. The airport received Parksmart Bronze certification for Terminal Garage 2 in 2019, is pursuing certification for Terminal Garage 1 (which opened in June) and will seek this recognition for a third garage that will open in 2023. Additionally, BNA’s new airport administrative building that opened in November is a LEED-registered project, and BNA is a registered LEED Campus with several sustainability strategies integrated at the campus level.


About the U.S. Green Building Council | The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, an international network of local community leaders, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

About Nashville International Airport | With nearly 18.3 million passengers in 2019, Nashville International Airport has been one of the fastest growing airports in North America. According to a recent study, in 2019 alone, BNA® generated more than $8.1 billion in total economic impact, supported more than 76,000 jobs in the region and produced more than $443 million in state, local and federal taxes. BNA receives no local tax dollars. For more information, visit