HOK Designs NASA's greenest building at Johnson Space Center
HOK's design for NASA's Building 20 at Johnson Space Center in Houston, a three-story 83,000-square-foot contemporary office facility, has achieved LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - Platinum certification.
Building 20 is designed to be 57 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building and serves as a public showcase for high-performance, environmentally sound building design and construction at the Johnson Space Center.
It accommodates up to 520 employees in mostly open office space with access to daylight and views, and establishes a new, more collaborative workplace paradigm for NASA.
"NASA's new green office building is designed to be 57 percent more energy efficient than a typical office building," Daniel Mills, HOK sustainability manager, said in a press release.
Impact on JSC
In addition to cutting energy and water consumption and reducing waste, Building 20 will serve as a public showcase for high-performance, environmentally sound building design and construction at the Johnson Space Center.
The Johnson Space Center houses NASA's astronaut training programs. From the Mission Control Center on this 1,580-acre, 100-building campus, NASA monitors all human space flight activities for the United States.
"The certification of this building as a LEED Platinum facility is an indication of NASA and the Johnson Space Center's commitment to sustainability in our buildings and infrastructure," said Steve Campbell, deputy director of NASA's center operations directorate.
"We are committed to doing construction in an environmentally friendly way and reducing the life cycle costs of our facilities."
Charles Noel, deputy chief of JSC's facilities management and operations division, said the project's sustainable goals "relate directly to the JSC mission to ensure that all NASA work environments on earth and in space are safe, healthy, environmentally sound and secure."
Design at a glance
The integrated architectural and design strategies include a highly efficient building envelope, an underfloor air distribution system, a total energy recovery wheel and a solar hot water harvesting system on the roof that accounts for 18 percent of the building's domestic hot water consumption.
The team's "less is more" design approach and efficient space planning reduced the building's total gross square footage by six percent, said Frank Hersom, HOK's project manager.
"We achieved this mostly by reducing perimeter circulation," Hersom said.
The team also minimized use of applied materials by leaving the concrete columns exposed, concrete ceilings unfinished and using polished concrete for flooring in public areas.
"The outcome was that we had less to build, less to maintain, less to heat and cool, and less impact on the environment," Noel said.
HOK provided full-service programming, architectural design, mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineering, interior design, landscape architecture, sustainability/LEED consulting services, and augmented with construction administration services.
"The building looks great and works as anticipated to achieve the energy efficiencies that were envisioned during design," Noel said.
For more information, visit the company's website at www.hok.com.
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