Image above: Kennedy Space Center's Ordnance Operations Facility (OOF) received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating on March 28. Image credit: NASA › View larger image
Image above: The Ordnance Operations Facility (OOF) joins five other LEED facilities on Kennedy Space Center to be recognized as sustainable. Image credit: NASA › View larger imageThe teams at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida that routinely test explosive devices can now carry out their missions in an environmentally friendly facility. On March 28, the center's Ordnance Operations Facility (OOF) received the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating. This is the sixth facility at Kennedy and the 26th for NASA to be recognized as sustainable. "The OOF takes Kennedy's total sustainable square footage to 76,570 square feet," said Mick Barth, a LEED accredited professional with the Center Operations Directorate, who served as the OOF's project manager and lead design engineer. Ed Tobin, with Center Operations, led the construction of the 3,500-square-foot facility. It was designed by Eli Schoen with the directorate's Environmental Management Branch. The general contractor, Canaveral Construction Company Inc., completed the project three months ahead of schedule and under budget, Barth said. Selecting and sizing the geothermal heat pump system, Barth said, was one of the many exciting challenges to designing the administrative office building. LEED awards are designed to encourage and facilitate the development of more sustainable buildings. The system is based on the use of sustainable sites, materials and resources, water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and design innovation. Contributing to the award of LEED Gold, the OOF will receive about 20 percent of its power from a 5-kilowatt photovoltaic system located on the ground south of the building. The facility is heated and cooled with a 3.5-ton geothermal heat pump system located six feet below the ground, also to the south of the facility. The OOF is expected to achieve 34 percent energy use reduction and a 49 percent water use reduction compared to traditional buildings, on an annual basis. Savings during construction include 95.8 percent waste diversion from landfill (144 tons) and 33.9 percent of the building materials were manufactured using recycled materials. Not only is the facility good for the environment, it's good for the people working inside, too since 97.3 percent of the building is lit by natural daylight. "By using less energy, less water and fewer resources, this facility will save the taxpayers money, reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a healthier environment for workers," Barth said. The facility houses about 10 employees who work for Space Coast Launch Services and the Air Force, depending on the requirements for each mission. Barth said, "The center is going to see more green buildings popping up to meet NASA's sustainability policy, which is to execute missions without compromising our planet’s resources so that future generations can meet their needs."