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NASA to Open Sustainability Base, A Super Green Building
Court yard view of building.

Source: Andrea M. Riso, Ames Research Center

NASA is building its most environmentally-friendly building at Ames Research Center (ARC) in Moffett Field, Calif. The structure, called "Sustainability Base," will likely be the "greenest" building in the Federal government if it receives Platinum LEED e-certification.

The ceremonial groundbreaking on the $20.6 million building is set for August 25 of this year. Move-in will be in spring or summer of 2011.

The name for the new facility pays tribute to the Tranquility Base from the Apollo 11 moon landing of July 20, 1969, when NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land and walk on the lunar surface.

Sustainability Base will provide office space for ARC-IT and may also house some scientific research and engineering. Sustainability Base is designed to consume zero net energy. Compared to conventional buildings of equal size, it will use 90 percent less potable water.

The centerpiece of the building's cutting-edge technology is its intelligent control system, which is based on systems originally developed for NASA spacecraft. A computer inside Sustainability Base will connect to the Internet to call up weather forecasts for the local area to help plan environmental control.

Sustainability Base will track and report back energy usage statistics by workstation, allowing occupants to monitor individual consumption.

"ARC-IT looks forward to moving into the only Platinum LEED-eCertified Federal building. This new space will support our ability to be a collaborative, innovative and increasingly transparent organization," said Acting CIO at ARC James F. Williams. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building certification system.