The 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building, in the background, is witness to the formation of the Propellants North Administrative and Maintenance Facility, a new "green" building under construction in Launch Complex 39 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Concrete layers on either side of high-density foam insulation in the facility's walls will prevent any transfer of radiant heat between the exterior and interior of the buildings.
A tilt-up construction method is being used to erect a THERMOMASS concrete wall insulation system for the facility's walls. In this approach, the exterior layer of concrete for the wall panels is poured and leveled on the building's footprint. Then, prefabricated, predrilled insulation sheets are arranged on top of the unhardened concrete, and connectors, designed to hold the sandwiched layers of concrete and insulation secure, are inserted through the predrilled holes. Next, the structural wythe is poured. Once cured, these panels are lifted upright to form the building's envelope. The facility will have a two-story administrative building to house managers, mechanics and technicians who fuel spacecraft at Kennedy adjacent to an 1,800-square-foot single-story shop to store cryogenic fuel transfer equipment. The new facility will feature high-efficiency roofs and walls, “Cool Dry Quiet” air conditioning with energy recovery technology, efficient lighting, and other sustainable features. The facility is striving to qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum certification. If successful, Propellants North will be the first Kennedy facility to achieve this highest of LEED ratings after it is completed in the summer of 2010. The facility was designed for NASA by Jones Edmunds and Associates. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann