Breaking Ground: Facility To Provide Consolidation, Energy Efficiency
Groundbreaking ceremonies Oct. 14 marked shovelfuls of progress toward construction of a new Dryden Consolidated Information Technology Center.
"It will replace antiquated facilities and consolidate all of our IT services at one facility," said David McBride, acting center director. "It will provide a secure environment and enable us to do more. In addition, the costs of this building over its life cycle will be much lower than our current facilities."
Dryden recently awarded a $5.8 million contract to Southwestern Dakotah Inc., of Tucson, Ariz., for construction of the 22,000-square-foot, two-story structure that will be built adjacent to the existing Data Analysis Facility. The new facility is expected to be complete about 18 months after construction begins.
Designed by the Development One Inc., architectural firm of Santa Ana, Calif., the new building will be a state-of-the-art facility to meet both current and anticipated future information technology requirements.
"Progress like this is outstanding," said Col. Jerry Gandy, 95th Air Base Wing Commander at Edwards.
Frank Bellinger, NASA's director for facilities engineering and real property, said the building will provide energy conservation, recycling and water efficiency. He explained that Dryden's facility is a silver building, a second of four tiers used to describe new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED Buildings, as designated by the U.S. Green Building council.
It also marks the first "green" building to be constructed at Dryden. The new building will be of steel-frame, concrete masonry construction, with aluminum and glass wall elements and perforated metal overhangs. In addition to construction of the building, the contract covers several options for landscaping, signage and related site infrastructure.
Jerry Davis, NASA's deputy chief information officer for IT Security, said the new facility is in line with agency-wide goals to consolidate IT resources and building more environmentally sound buildings.
"This is the first of many new buildings for Dryden. It is good to see the agency commitment to recapitalizing the infrastructure at the centers," said Jerry McKee, acting associate director for management.
The facility will meet a key need at Dryden and offer a number of advantages over the existing infrastructure, said Robert Binkley, Dryden chief information officer.
"The facility is going to improve the overall reliability of our IT service delivery to our customers. It is being designed as a Tier III building, which means there is redundant power and cooling for everything, so any one component failure doesn't impact IT service delivery. As CIO, my job is to deliver reliable IT services and this helps me ensure that happens.
"The IT staff is currently spread out all over the center. This facility doubles the office space available to house people and we can consolidate the whole organization into one building. This will improve communication in our organization," he added.
Once the new structure is complete, the existing Data Analysis Facility will be renovated for use of the center's growing IT support staff.
The DAF was built to accommodate about 80 NASA and contractor employees. The new information technology center is intended to be a model for NASA data centers of the future. The project will facilitate reliable, secure and rapid analysis of critical flight research data to prepare Dryden for future research mission data requirements.
The contract is the largest single Historically Underutilized Business Zone small business award in Dryden's history.
By Jay Levine