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NASA Science Building 'Breaks New Ground'
07.16.07
 
GREENBELT, Md. - More than just new ground is being broken at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., with the construction of a new, environmentally friendly sciences building. The three-story office and laboratory building, known as the "Exploration Sciences Building," was designed by EwingCole, a 350-person architecture and engineering firm with offices in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The official groundbreaking ceremony occurred on July 16 at Goddard. Speakers included Dr. Edward Weiler, NASA Goddard's center director, Laurie Leshin, director of sciences and exploration at NASA Goddard, and Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, Representative of Maryland’s Fifth Congressional District. Armed with their golden shovels, they each assisted with the first dig on the site.

Rendering of Exploration Sciences Building Image right: This is an artist's rendering of the new NASA Goddard "Exploration Sciences Building," which should be completed in 2009. Click on image for high resolution. Image Credit: EwingCole

"NASA's new eco-friendly science building will provide state of the art laboratories and technology for our scientists, giving them access to modern tools and facilities for continued world class research in space and Earth science, and in support of NASA's mission," said Weiler.

Also in attendance from NASA were Shana Dale, deputy administrator, NASA Headquarters, Washington; Dr. Colleen Hartman, deputy associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate; and Charles Scales, associate deputy administrator. Other attendees included Congressman Albert Wynn, Representative from Maryland's Fourth Congressional District; representatives from the offices of Senator Ben Cardin; Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Representative of Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District; Congressman Tom Feeney, Representative of Florida's 24th Congressional District; Judith Davis, Mayor of Greenbelt, Md.; Ingrid Turner of the Prince George’s County Council and Leta Mach of the Greenbelt City Council.

The multi-million dollar Exploration Sciences Building is the first building project of the Goddard Space Flight Center's campus master plan, and serves as a "launching pad" for NASA-driven space science research over the next 50 years and anchors a new pedestrian-friendly "science neighborhood."

"EwingCole applied unique design strategies to address NASA's needs and to create a sustainable facility," said Jim Wolters, AIA, chief operating officer at EwingCole. "EwingCole created a flexible layout with collaborative spaces strategically located in coordination with NASA’s organizational structure and the building circulation to facilitate informal interaction between scientists. Working in conjunction with laboratory planning consultant M+W Zander, the project team developed a design which allows for the efficient and effective configuration of utilities and laboratory spaces, including new chemistry, electronics and research laboratories."

Tossing the first dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony on July 16, 2007 Image left: Tossing the first dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony on July 16, 2007, at Goddard were (left to right): Laurie Leshin, director of sciences and exploration at NASA Goddard; Congressman Steny H. Hoyer, Representative of Maryland's Fifth Congressional District; Shana Dale, deputy administrator, NASA Headquarters, Washington; and Dr. Edward Weiler, NASA Goddard's center director. The building is expected to be completed in 2009. Click on image for high resolution. Image Credit: NASA / Pat Izzo

+ View event video
+ View the tour of the building video

The new building will be occupied by personnel from the Astrophysics Science Division, the Solar Systems Exploration Division, as well as the Directorate office itself.

The building is LEED (R) Registered and actively pursuing LEED for New Construction Silver Certification. The LEED (R) Green Building Rating System (TM) is a voluntary building certification program that defines high-performance green buildings that are environmentally responsible and healthier structures.

What makes this a "green building" is that EwingCole has integrated sustainable design initiatives on sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

NASA has determined that all new facilities projects will reach the Silver rating. The Silver rating signifies a high level of commitment to designing, procuring, and installing environmentally friendly materials and incorporating sustainable practices in both design and construction.

David Larsen, Exploration Sciences Building Project Manager at Goddard said, "The NASA team is looking forward to this first major step in the execution of the GSFC Facilities Master Plan. The Exploration Sciences Building will serve as the primary tie in the overall effort of unifying the currently divided east and west campuses."

NASA has awarded a contract to Manhattan Construction Company of Fairfax, Va., for the construction of the building, beginning later in 2007.

Related multimedia:
+ View event video
+ View the tour of the building video

More information:
+ Click here for more information about NASA Goddard
+ Click here for more information about EwingCole
+ Click here for more information about NASA's Green Building

 
 
Rob Gutro / NASA GSFC