Sacramento International Airport, Terminal B

  • New $1bn international terminal and airside buildings.
  • Making a feature of natural daylight reduced energy consumption while enhancing visitors’ experience of the building.
  • LEED Silver certified.

Sacramento International Airport’s new Central Terminal B opened on 6 October 2011. The US$1bn facility has been awarded LEED Silver certification. The use of energy efficient lighting and control systems which focused on extensive daylighting, contributed strongly to this achievement.

Inspired by Sacramento’s tree-lined streets, the terminal building’s architecture features a three-story, vaulted ticket hall with a canopy of structural beams that allows daylight to filter into the space. The louvered, fully-glazed façade provides thermal protection as well as visual comfort by tempering the direct sunlight coming into the building. Arup’s lighting designers employed extensive daylight modelling and simulation to get the end result just right. The electric lighting responds to the amount of daylight, resulting in it being off for most of the day.

The airside building features an expansive tiered-wood ceiling with integrated lighting, which creates a dramatic architectural experience. Extensive mock-ups and integrated design collaboration led to this custom ceiling lighting installation becoming a prominent feature of the design.

Arup provided daylighting and electric lighting design for all public and technical lighting aspects of the project including apron and remain-over-night (RON) lighting design and roadway lighting design for selected areas.


  • Sacramento airport video still. Play video

    Watch a timelapse video of the lighting design for Sacramento Airport.

  • Interior of the Sacramento International Airport. Credit Tim Griffith.Open gallery

    Natural daylight was used to reduce overall energy consumption.