Saturday, August 8, 2009

Building Design and Construction

NASA's sustainability base building at Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, Calif.

NASA is set to break ground on what the agency expects to be the highest performing building in the federal government's portfolio. Named Sustainability Base, the new building at Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., will be a showplace for sustainable technologies, featuring "NASA Inside" through the incorporation of some of the agency’s most advanced recycling and intelligent controls technologies originally developed to support NASA’s human and robotic space exploration missions. In this 40th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon and humanity’s first historic steps onto the surface of another world, NASA has chosen the name Sustainability Base as an homage to the original "Tranquility Base" and the brave astronauts and other men and women of NASA who accomplished what is generally regarded to be the defining event of the 20th century.

Sustainability Base is a NASA Ames project to create a supportive and nurturing workspace for employees. The project includes a high-performance building that will be a proof-of-concept of what can be accomplished today, as well as a living experimental platform, designed to incorporate new, energy-efficient technologies as they evolve.

The building will be highly intelligent, even intuitive, and will be designed to anticipate and react to changes in sunlight, temperature, wind, and usage and will be able to optimize its performance automatically, in real time, in response to internal and external change.

Goals for the project include:

Zero net energy consumption for the building
Rreduce potable water consumption by more than 90% when compared to an equivalent size building of conventional design
Significantly reduce building maintenance costs when compared to an equivalent size building of conventional design.

More information on the project and a video about the project can be found here.

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