Buildings or developments that display best practice outcomes in energy efficiency, are powered by renewable energy, and as such have been verified and certified as "net zero energy and/or carbon" projects.
NASA engaged William McDonough + Partners to design Sustainability Base, its first new construction in more than 20 years. The NASA team wanted to show how a federal facility, with a tight schedule and conventional budget, could be a model of effectiveness and sustainability. Sustainability Base is named in recognition of the kinship between it and the first off-planet human outpost on the moon, Tranquility Base. It is among the first federal facilities to obtain LEED Platinum certification.
NASA uses Sustainability Base as a living laboratory to develop methods and tools for understanding and controlling dynamic energy and water systems here on Earth. Sustainability Base also effectively combines passive and active heating/cooling and daylighting strategies to optimize energy use. On site, a BloomBox® ES-5700 (fuel cell) produces more electricity than peak demand and roof-mounted SunPower E-19 panels can produce 87kw, approximately 30% of annual demand. Over the course of a year, PV generation accounts for approximately 30% of the building’s electricity needs and 720,000 kWh of excess energy gets fed back into the grid per year.
The NASA team wanted to show how a federal facility, with a tight schedule and conventional budget, could be a model of effectiveness and sustainability.