Press Release

NASA ‘Builds’ for the Future

By SpaceRef Editor
July 17, 2009
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Building on nearly a century of exploration, aeronautics research and scientific discovery, NASA’s Langley Research Center broke ground today for the first building in its “New Town” program, a $200-million facility improvement project designed to enhance mission performance capabilities and renew current facilities.

In partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), NASA developed a master plan for modernizing the Langley infrastructure, while simultaneously reducing operations and maintenance costs.

“This plan focuses on the future requirements of the Center while maintaining our tradition of technical excellence,” said Center Director Lesa B. Roe at this morning’s groundbreaking ceremony. “Concurrent with the new construction and renovation is phased demolition of deteriorated and underutilized facilities that will reduce the Center’s footprint and increase our environmental stewardship.”

The federal government has embarked on a conservation program to reduce energy and water usage and increase renewable energy systems.

“Langley’s New Town project feeds directly into this initiative,” said keynote speaker and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Charles H. Scales. “The Agency also supports a ‘repair by replacement’ strategy that balances construction of modern structures with demolition of facilities no longer needed. New Town goes a long way to ensure an infrastructure that fully supports Langley’s objectives for efficiency, flexibility and state-of-the-art systems.”

“We are honored to partner with the General Services Administration on this project,” said Roe. “GSA helps federal agencies better serve the public by offering superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services and management policies at best value. Because of the work they do, we at NASA are able to focus on the Agency’s mission.”

Langley’s New Town project includes construction of three laboratories, two administration buildings and a joint-use facility over the next 15 years, renovation of two buildings and demolition of 10 obsolete structures.

The first building is a 72,000-square-foot office building designed to house 260 employees. The $23-million facility will be constructed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standards.

“We are very pleased to be working with technology and innovation leaders at NASA,” said Regional Commissioner Rob Hewell of GSA’s Public Buildings Service. “Their commitment to energy conservation, air quality and water efficiency drove the design of this first building.”

“NASA has always been on the cutting edge of technology innovations,” said Hampton Mayor Molly J. Ward. “The City of Hampton is extremely proud that Langley has attained LEED Gold certification for Building 1 of their New Town program. Hampton has begun a green Initiative program and will be leveraging NASA Langley’s expertise in this area.”

The LEED Green Building Rating System is a national rating system for the development of high-performance buildings. LEED emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials and resources selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Langley Research Center was established as the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory on July 17, 1917. Rather than a look back, celebration of today’s anniversary and the New Town groundbreaking is a look toward the Center’s future.

For more information about Langley Research Center, its programs and projects, visit

For more information about the U.S. General Services Administration, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.