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NASA Goes Green

Question asked by ritu in #Coffee Room on Jan 29, 2011
ritu
ritu · Jan 29, 2011
Rank D3 - MASTER
NASA goes green with the grand opening of Kennedy Space Center stated as NASA’s "greenest" facility. The new hub meant for fueling spacecraft on journeys to unlock the mysteries of the universe, the Propellants North Administrative and Maintenance Facility will tap into Earth's most natural resources.

Bob Cabana, Director at Kennedy’s Center stated, "This is our start. This is setting the standard. How can you not be enthused about something that requires zero energy? It actually puts more energy out than it requires to run in a 24-hour period."

The facility qualifies for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design, or LEED, Platinum status, which is the highest of green building certifications. That certification system is based on the use of sustainable sites, materials and resources, water and energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and design innovation.

Mike Benik, the director of Center Operations at Kennedy said, "While NASA’s primary mission is exploration, the agency also tends to another important mission i.e. protecting our planet Earth. This facility behind me is a sterling, or should I say platinum, example of how NASA and KSC are leading the way."

The new facility will become a test bed for more environmentally friendly projects at NASA centers and will further make sure that every aspect is truly green.

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Parking Lot of the Future

To begin with the test bed has a parking lot of the future. An electric or hybrid vehicle can plug into a nearby solar-powered charging canopy for less than $1.50 a day. The eight-car station was paid for by the Department of Energy's Transportation Electrification Grant Program and can be used for government or privately owned vehicles to reduce dependency on gas.  Frank Kline, the facility's project manager with NASA Construction of Facilities believes that this facility will give the folks an incentive to buy electric cars as they now have a place to plug in.

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Solar Panel Arrays

NASA’s step to use the unconventional energy sources doesn’t end here. To further utilize the sun’s power NASA has set up more than 300 photovoltaic panels which are expected to generate more energy than will be used at Propellants North, making it the space agency's first net-zero facility.  Experts from all over the world have appreciated the smart functioning of the system.

Water being another scarce resource on our planet there is a facility of a 7,500-gallon rainwater harvesting system that consists of three storage tanks. Non-treated H2O from the system will be used for utilization in toilets and irrigation system, while treated water can be used for drinking and hand washing.

An automated light control system helps overhead LED lights and sunlight work in tandem to always give the facility's occupants peak lighting, which is thought to enhance work and reduce the wastage of electrical energy. Propellants North is also using an energy-saving feature called a controlled power station, where when an occupant leaves their work area for an extended period of time, it will turn everything using electricity off except their computer.

Hygienic hand dryers that scrape water from hands in a matter of seconds and conservative showers and sinks are installed as well. Its occupants will need to develop a green thumb of their own to maintain the center's reuse, recycle and repurpose efforts.

This initiative by NASA is sure to inspire more steps around the world towards making the green planet greener. What’s your say?
Posted in: #Coffee Room

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