Press Release

NASA’s Ultragreen Building Awarded LEED Platinum

By SpaceRef Editor
April 20, 2012
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NASA’s Ultragreen Building Awarded LEED Platinum

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced this week that the new ultragreen federal facility, named Sustainability Base, located at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., received the highest level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, LEED Platinum.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, NASA Ames is inviting guests and employees to a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The celebration will include tours of the building and donated refreshments. Scheduled speakers include President Obama’s Science Advisor, John P. Holdren (pre-recorded video); U.S. Congressional Representatives Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, Calif., and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, Calif.; NASA Associate Administrator for Mission Support Woodrow Whitlow; NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden; NASA Ames Associate Center Director for Research Steven Zornetzer; and Architect and Community Designer William McDonough.

“We were very excited about USGBC awarding our new building LEED platinum certification. Normally, the certification review process can take as long as six months. Our building was awarded the highest level of LEED certification in about six weeks,” said Zornetzer.

Unlike any other government building ever constructed, this new facility’s performance includes repurposed NASA aerospace technologies. Highly intelligent, even intuitive, this building is designed to optimize its performance automatically, in real time, and in response to internal and external changes. This 50,000 square-foot, lunar-shaped building will know exactly how much energy each occupant uses and can adapt to weather, season and occupancy.

It is designed to be “native to place,” which means it incorporates surrounding elements into its new design. It has outdoor workspaces, pleasing views of nature, natural shading and natural daylight, fresh air and its interior is made from non-toxic materials. It is simultaneously a workplace, a showcase for NASA technologies and a living prototype for buildings of the future.

Sustainability Base was awarded LEED platinum certification because it received more than 80 out of 100 points across five major categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, plus additional points for innovation in design and regional priority.

NASA’s new, environmentally-friendly building was named in honor of the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon more than 40 years ago. The landing site for the Apollo 11 spacecraft was named Tranquility Base. Sustainability Base is a site where NASA technologies can be repurposed for application on Earth. It is NASA’s latest mission on Earth.

Sustainability Base already has won prestigious national awards. They include the 2010 U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Award for Green Innovation; 2010 San Jose Silicon Valley Structures Award for Best Green Public Building; the 2011 White House Greengov “Lean, Clean and Green Award;” and Center for Environmental Innovation and Leadership (CEIL), the “Leadership in Innovation Award.”

“This recognition of our accomplishments attests to the fact that NASA is a model of sustainability,” said Zornetzer.

For more information about Sustainability Base, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.