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Nearly Complete: NASA Dryden’s Facilities Support Center

Original article by Jay Levine – X-Press editor

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When NASA Dryden Flight Research Center’s new Facilities Support Center is completed later this month, it will mark the most energy efficient building at the center. The construction is ultra efficient and Dryden officials intend to apply for national certification to prove it.

The $11.2 million, 38,000-square-foot structure and its related infrastructure is expected to be complete about 30 days ahead of schedule, said Gemma Flores, Dryden project architect for the FSC. Dryden is located on Edwards Air Force Base.

The structure is designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum certification standard for environment and energy efficiency. Based on building energy consumption modeling, design engineers forecast that energy use will be reduced more than 40 percent compared to conventional construction.

J. Bruce Camino, principal architect, and David Meider, project manager, recently explained some of the new facility’s environmental features. Camino and Meider work for the architectural firm Develop­ment One, Inc. based in Santa Ana, Calif., which was selected to design the facility.

Solar energy and building materials – including insulation made from old jeans and doors made from wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council – are two places to look at energy efficiency and sustainabil­ity elements, Meider said.

Natural light is everywhere in the facility, made possible by light tubes that allow light into the facility and diffusers to direct the light to illuminate hallways and other areas, Camino said. Additional lighting is available by low-energy light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting. Low-emittance, double-pane tinted glass windows and translucent wall panels also allow light, but not heat, to enter the facility.

Regarding water usage, the landscaping will only re­quire water for a short time until it matures then no ir­rigation will be required, Meider said. Water used from showers, laundry and restroom sinks, called gray water, will be collected in a tank and pumped back into the facility for use in flushing toilets. Combined with the use of water-efficient plumbing fixtures, the building’s water use will be reduced more than 30 percent when compared to standard construction.

More details on the environmental features will fol­low in the next FSC newsletter.

The overall design of the facility is inspired by aero­nautics, with the edges of the roofline resembling air­craft wings and front windows appearing to be hangar doors, Camino said.

High winds presented challenges on the construction site this spring, but the metal roofing is installed, as are the windows, Flores said. In addition, inte­rior painting and tiling of restroom areas are nearly finished.

Outside, concrete driveways and parking areas have been completed, and pouring of sidewalks is also done. White concrete was used to reflect heat, compared to asphalt that absorbs heat.

The building will provide office and technical spaces for Dryden’s Facilities Engineering and Asset Manage­ment Office as well as the Safety, Health and Envi­ronmental Office, combining functions under one roof that are currently housed in several obsolete and inefficient facilities at the center.

The new building includes collaborative office space, conference rooms, restrooms and shower/changing facilities, fabrication workshops, development and training laboratories and a storage mezzanine.

Comfort and Hays Electric Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., and its subcontractors, including primary construction subcontractor AMG & Associates Inc. of Upland, Calif., are building the facility.


GOING UP! Facilities Support Center at NASA Dryden

Erection of the masonry exterior walls of the new Facilities Support Center at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center is proceeding rapidly, following completion of underground infrastructure and installation of a retaining wall in recent weeks.

Masons employed by subcontractor Nibbelink Masonry Construction Co. of Lancaster began erecting the concrete-block walls of the new structure during the week of May 21, and the exterior shape of the facility was clearly in evidence when these photos were taken June 4.The masonry work is expected to be complete by August, followed by construction and installation of the structural steel for the building’s framework, according to Dryden architect Gemma Flores, manager of the project.

The $11.2 million, 38,000-square-foot structure is designed to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification standard for environment and energy efficiency. Designed by the Development One architectural firm of Santa Ana, Calif., the new structure is being built by Comfort and Hays Electric, Inc. of Long Beach, Calif. Contractor officials report the project is a couple of weeks ahead of schedule as they work toward a completion date of July 2013.

A small forest of crank-up scaffolding and rebar rises at the construction site of NASA Dryden Flight Research Center’s new Facilities Support Center in this photo taken on June 4, 2012.

Masons from Nibbelink Masonry Construction Co. of Lancaster, Calif., carefully remove excess mortar from a line of concrete blocks they have set during exterior wall construction of the new Facilities Support Center at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.

Photos by Tony Landis

Original article: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/status_reports/FSC_status_06_12_12.html