Pacific Rim celebrates out-of-this-world role

Imagine working in a building designed in harmony with the environment. Out of this world? Not any more.

GSA, though its green furniture suppliers, has contributed to such a building. And, NASA's new sensor-driven, ultra-green building is unlike any other government building ever created.

NASA calls it Sustainability Base, and NASA Ames Associate Center Director Steve Zornetzer recently shared his agency’s vision with Pacific Rim Regional Administrator Ruth Cox, Regional Commissioners Jeff Neely and Michael Gelber, and several members of their staffs.

Using cradle-to-cradle sustainable design, Sustainability Base will generate a considerable amount of its own power through a combination of photovoltaics, a highly efficient fuel cell and small wind turbine. The regional leadership team took pride in GSA’s contribution of work space solutions to the project.

All the GSA furniture procurements for the base have environmental standards that include green guard certification or a minimum silver rating in the cradle-to-cradle system. These office systems were manufactured from a minimum of 85 percent recycled material.

The new, environmentally friendly building at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California is named "Sustainability Base" in honor of the first humans to walk on the surface of another world from their Tranquility Base Apollo 11 lunar landing site 40 years ago. It serves as a highly efficient collaborative support facility providing workspace for a wide range of NASA’s aeronautics and space exploration missions.

The new building is designed to achieve a platinum rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design new construction standards for environmentally sustainable construction developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building features near-zero net energy consumption, uses 90 percent less potable water than conventionally built buildings of equivalent size and reduces building maintenance costs. The building showcases some of NASA’s most advanced intelligent control technologies originally developed to support the nation’s human and robotic space exploration missions.

Multiple sensors deployed throughout the building monitor its power demand, air temperature, moisture, air flow, light levels, and water consumption. The system will “learn” about the facility’s dynamics, including the human component, and will continuously evolve to produce better operational outcomes based on identifying connections, consequences and trends.

The building features 72 geothermal wells that use ground-source heat pumps, parking and landscaping with California-native plants. In addition, it has sophisticated systems for solar water heating, fire detection and suppression, advanced lighting, security, communications operations and site storm water management. These systems anticipate and react to changes in sunlight, temperature, wind, and use of resources and will automatically optimize the building’s performance.

The new facility also features a structural steel frame, stands two stories tall with two wings and has about 50,000 square feet of open office space, lunchrooms and a glass-walled atrium.

Last Reviewed 2016-04-08