Space technology to enhance efficiency of green buildings


Steven Zornetzer,
Associate Center
Director, NASA
Moffett Field, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 27, 2010 – NASA has announced that it is collaborating with building controls system integrator Integrated Building Solutions (IBS), Inc. to develop a next generation intelligent environmental monitoring and management capability for office buildings and research environments.

The building control systems being developed jointly by NASA’s Ames Research Center and IBS is aimed at enhancing energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and maximizing worker performance and comfort.

An environmentally friendly building that is being constructed at Ames to testbed the news systems, “Sustainability Base,” is expected to be completed in late 2010.

“We are thrilled to be applying NASA aerospace technologies to our everyday living and working environments,” said Steven Zornetzer, associate center director at NASA Ames. “This collaboration represents the first of many research partnerships for Sustainability Base that will bring NASA technologies down to Earth.”

Ames and IBS engineers are working to repurpose NASA-developed software systems for health and resource planning into a building environment. The technologies were originally developed for everything from aircraft control systems to mission planning for the Mars rovers, Opportunity and Spirit. A suite of these NASA software tools is now being integrated with IBS’s Intelligent Building Interface System, which provides centralized management, monitoring, automation, and analysis of building systems in an intuitive, browser-based console. The resulting building control system will interpret data from sensors and merge this information with occupancy calendars and local weather predictions.

Multiple sensors deployed throughout the building will monitor its power demand, air temperature, moisture, air flow, light levels, and water consumption. The system will “learn” about the facility’s dynamics, including the human component, and will continuously evolve to produce better operational outcomes based on identifying connections, consequences, and trends.

“We believe that combining NASA technology with our own software represents the future in smart building control and automation technology,” said Eugene Gutkin, president of IBS. “We are thrilled to be working with a great partner like NASA on this exciting and groundbreaking project.”

Goals for Sustainability Base include zero net energy consumption, as well as a reduction of potable water consumption by over 90 percent and significantly reduced maintenance costs when compared to an equivalent size building of conventional design.