Down to earth
Pump it up
Keeping it real
Let the Sun Shine In
Sustainability Base is expected to achieve a 65 percent energy use reduction against the ASHRAE 90.1 2004 minimum requirements.
Check the flow
Solar hot water panels on the roof can offset more than half of the domestic hot water generation demand. A potable water use reduction of 90 percent over a conventional installation is expected by the use of campus "MEW" recycled water for irrigation, grey water recycling and low-flow fixtures.
Predicted yearly energy savings are around US$30,000.
Raise the roof
Given NASA's pioneering research in photovoltaics (PV) dating back to the 1950s, it seemed appropriate that Sustainability Base have PV incorporated. The roof PV structure generates 131,400 kWhr annually, over 27 percent of the building's energy need. The panels operate at the highest efficiency currently possible for this technology, 19 percent.
While large glazing areas maximize daylighting, they have the detrimental effect of increasing solar heat gain. Fortunately, Sustainability Base's main building axis is oriented approximately east-west. Computer modeling analysis demonstrated that horizontal shading on the east and west faces provided the most benefit.
Run it back
FSC-certified wood used: 72% Recycled content used: 28+% Regional materials used: 13+% Construction waste diverted: 90+%
Our comprehensive building engineering expertise, Advanced Technology Group, and connections to related AECOM planning and design disciplines give us an unsurpassed platform for delivering more fundamentally intelligent buildings. Through a fresh, creative and collaborative approach to each building, we determine ways to make it more healthy, comfortable, and safe for its users while consuming less energy and water than the norm. Informed by cost and construction considerations, and embracing the vision of each client, we are out to make a more efficient and sustainable built environment.
It's a mission we've realized across North America with facilities such as NASA's Sustainability Base and Langley Research Center Headquarters, the Calgary and San Jose International Airports, the Manitoba Hydro office building and Inland Empire Transportation Management Center. And it's one we continue to pursue and expand, as our experience leads to ever greater capabilities and aspirations.
When NASA planned to add the first new building in 20 years to the Ames Research Center in California, home to much of the agency's most innovative technology, the goal was that the facility be an exemplar in sustainability. The result is a building that is native to place, melding with its natural and built surroundings, and grid positive, producing more energy than it consumes. Sustainability Base officially opened on April 20, 2012.
Working with design architect William McDonough + Partners, AECOM provided the innovative engineering behind this model facility and served as architect, engineer and landscape architect of record. The team also included Loisos Ubbelohde (lighting consultant), Siteworks Studio (landscape design), and MBDC (materials assessment). By embracing a collaborative design approach that identified the long-term sustainable performance of the building as a key project driver, the team garnered over 80 percent of the points available within the USGBC's LEED certification program, earning the building LEED Platinum, the highest possible rating.
"It was a fascinating puzzle putting the building's pieces together—from its orientation, to its façade, to its mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems—in a way that unlocked new and better efficiencies," said Alastair MacGregor, who leads the High-Performance Buildings group at AECOM. "We pride ourselves on a fresh, creative approach to each building. With Sustainability Base we promoted passive, active and renewable strategies to achieve NASA's goals."
The group has done innovative work on other buildings including NASA's LEED Platinum certified Langley Research Center Headquarters, the Calgary and San Jose International Airports, the Manitoba Hydro office building and the LEED Gold certified Inland Empire Transportation Management Center. Learn more.
Sustainability Base achieved LEED Platinum, the highest possible rating within the USGBC's LEED certification program. The team garnered over 80 percent of the available points by embracing a collaborative design approach that identified the long-term sustainable performance of the building as a key project driver. LEED metrics include the following:
Learn more about Building Engineering at AECOM and read Agenda (PDF), our technical journal. Learn more about our related practices of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Masterplanning and Environmental Planning. Learn more about our work in Sports, Healthcare and Education. Explore exemplary environments.AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government, and is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world's built, natural and social environments. Learn more: www.aecom.com.