PASADENA, Calif., Oct. 26 (UPI) — The U.S. space agency opened a new building Monday at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, calling it NASA’s most environmentally friendly structure.
The Flight Projects Center was opened following a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by lawmakers and local dignitaries.
“It seems fitting that the new building, where teams will plan future space missions that use new technologies, also has the latest ‘green’ technologies to help JPL do its part to improve our environment here on Earth,” said JPL Director Charles Elachi.
The building is the first NASA structure to receive “LEED Gold Certification” under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system established by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council. To qualify, buildings must meet several criteria, such as efficient use of water, energy and resources, and provide a healthy and comfortable indoor workspace.
The “green” features of the new building include:
– Outdoor lighting used for safety purposes only and directed toward the ground to reduce light pollution in the night sky.
– Low-flow faucets and toilets to reduce water use by 40 percent.
– Smart heating and cooling systems that know whether people are in a room and then adjust temperatures and ventilation accordingly.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International