NASA Builds Sustainability Base

NASA Installing Solar Panels on Rooftops

NASA is nearing completion on its $20 million Sustainability Base. The futuristic building is at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley at Moffett Field, California. The base is due to be completed in July 2011.

The federal government is touting the building as its greenest building of the year. Compared to similar sized office buildings, the base will cost approximately 6% more to construct. NASA says the building will cost less to operate and the money will be made up within 10 years.

Among other design features, the 50,000 square foot building has photovoltaic solar panels covering the roof and on patio umbrellas contributing to 80% of the power.

The building’s space age technology, originally developed for NASA spacecraft, will intelligently control the building through a computer system. The Sustainability Base is designed to cool itself from geothermal wells that route naturally cooled water from underneath the ground through pipes and cooling panels inside the building instead of traditional air conditioning units.

The narrow building was designed so natural light could come through the floor to ceiling lights and the skylights on the second story. The building’s computer can also close or open windows and adjust lighting from the windows.

AECOM and William McDonough + Partners architectural firms designed the building and it is being built by Swinerton Inc. construction.

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