NASA Space Tech to Make Green Buildings More Efficient

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NASA has announced a plan to develop next-gen intelligent, automated monitoring systems for both offices and research environments.

Collaborating with Integrated Building Solutions (IBS), the system will enhance energy efficiency, reduce consumption and provide a more comfortable workspace. The system will be tested at NASA’s Sustainability Base after its completion in 2010. The base is being built at the Ames Research Center.

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“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. “The first of many research partnerships for Sustainability Base that will bring NASA technologies down to Earth and connect them with capabilities from the private sector to leverage taxpayer investment.”

Ames engineers–along with IBS counterparts–are repurposing NASA-built health systems and resource planning tools into green building software. These technologies were originally used on aircraft control systems. The mission planning tools were even used for the Mars rovers: Opportunity and Spirit.

The tool suite is being integrated into IBS’s Intelligent Building Interface System. It provides centralized management, monitoring, automation and analysis of building systems in a browser-based console. Sensors throughout the base will monitor power, air temperature, moisture, air flow, light levels and water consumption.

“The resulting integrated intelligent controls system will gather information about the building and its subsystems, the occupants, the resources available, and upcoming events,” said Dougal Maclise, lead engineer for the Integrated Systems Health Management Technology Maturation Group at NASA Ames. “It then will use this information to plan and implement a control strategy to maintain the comfort of the occupants, while minimizing energy consumption and its carbon footprint.”

The building will “learn” about the facility, including human components, and continue to evolve. Using the data, it will map out trends and consequences to better produce an operational outcome. It will even merge this data with occupancy calendars and local weather predictions.

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Source: NASA

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