U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Federal Energy Management Program
DOE, NASA Partner to Construct 'Greenest' Federal Building
October 12, 2011
DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and NASA's Ames Research Center, both in California, are collaborating on technologies and processes for what they say could become the "greenest" and highest-performing building in the federal government by using technologies developed for space. The structure, called Sustainability Base in honor of Apollo 11's lunar landing site, will feature NASA intelligent system software installed by Ames engineers. To help integrate these "smart system" technologies, LBNL developed a building information model to serve as the repository for the building's systems information during its life cycle. Using data from this model, LBNL developed an energy-performance simulation model to optimize the building's energy operations.
Sustainability Base, now under construction, is a closed-loop sustainable building. It repurposed NASA technologies to conserve energy and reduce water consumption. The structure uses regional natural resources, such as natural lighting, and captures cool night air to reduce cooling during the day. Both NASA and the DOE will benefit from this collaboration. LBNL will further develop modeling techniques for DOE's EnergyPlus simulation engine. By installing additional sensors in Sustainability Base, the EnergyPlus model will have access to a richer data set for better calibration and validation; at the same time, Ames will receive better insight into the building's performance. This collaboration also will facilitate the collection and analysis of building-performance data that can be used for construction of future energy efficient office buildings. See the NASA press release and the Sustainability Base website.