NASA Kennedy Space Center Headquarters Building Threshold Inspection Services

In efforts to reorganize and redirect itself for the next wave of space travel NASA developed a new master plan for Kennedy Space Center. This plan includes the design and construction of a new seven-story, 200,000-square foot Headquarters Building and the subsequent retirement and demolition of the existing HQ building. On October 7, 2014 ground was broken and the project was set into motion.

What is CDE’s role in this project? While CDE did not design the new Headquarters Building, nor are we involved in its construction, we are serving as the Threshold Inspection Agent during its construction.

When a building in Florida meets a certain criteria, based on height and occupancy, it is a requirement by the Florida Building Code that a special inspector routinely inspect the structural elements of the building throughout its construction phases.  CDE is proudly supporting NASA in this role and is honored to have a part in construction of this historic new facility.

NASA’s SSPF Science Annex

The SSPF Science Annex is a new building located adjacent to the Space Shuttle Processing Facility. It serves as a science laboratory which supports manned space missions. The SSPF Science Annex is located at Kennedy Space Center.

CDE’s design team performed, complete design including site civil, architectural, structural, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, process piping, controls, fire detection and protection as well as data system. This building is designed with 100% redundancy in system operation without single point failure. CDE’s construction team completed the construction of this facility and it was commissioned by a third party. The entire building and systems were modeled using BIM.

CDE’s design team also had the difficult task of maintaining precise temperature and humidity control in each of the spaces over a wider range than that of a normal building. The other, bigger challenge was to accommodate all the mechanical systems with redundancy in less than a 500-square-foot space. Because the site was so limiting, CDE had to add a mezzanine to accommodate extensive systems. CDE also had to fit two steam boilers, five humidifiers, three hot water heaters, water treatment, a deionized water generator, DI water storage tank and an exhaust fan system within this 500 ft.² space. In addition, the fire protection riser had to be installed within the same space with code required clearances. The architectural aspects of construction came with several challenges. The building had to be airtight and moisture-proofed. The surfaces were required to be resistant to repeated cleaning cycles.
Another challenge was a design that allowed pressure relationships to be maintained over a wide range of air flow rates to the individual spaces. Additionally, the commissioning of the building was a huge challenge because of several possible system/control failure scenarios. These systems were rigorously tested and validated for each of those scenarios.
This building utilizes every possible utility, such as chilled water, compressed air, DI water, high and low temperature hot water, steam, condensate, and natural gas. This project was completed on time and within budget.

There are several ECMs incorporated for energy savings for this facility compared to a standard facility and this building has been designed for LEED Silver Certification. The energy conservation features included the following: Chilled water system was provided for this 5,700 sq.ft conditioned spaces. In addition, VFD control for air handlers and exhaust fans, Occupancy sensors, Demand-controlled ventilation based on mode of operation, High-efficiency steam boilers and hot water heaters, SCR controls for every heater in the facility for precise temperature control, Supply air temperature reset control, a complete direct digital control system for monitoring, measurement and verification were provided. Since it is a lab building, there were unique requirements for precise temperature and humidity range controls for each of the spaces. Modulation of supply and exhaust with VFDs to maintain positive pressure in the building was provided. The building saves 35% more energy compared to a conventional building design.

NASA kA Band Antenna Array

The effort for this design/build project entailed providing three new concrete mat support foundations in a 60 m equilateral triangle formation to support three new 12 m dish antennas with pedestals; providing a concrete pad at the center of the equilateral triangle for mounting antenna monitoring equipment; providing foundation and erecting of the command center; and installing utilities such as potable water, sanitary sewer, electrical power, communications, fiber optics, fire alarm, lightning protection, and grounding systems for the antennas and the command center support area. CDE also provided HVAC to each of the antennas.

CDE provided full design services for this project such as civil, structural, and electrical.  The civil effort involved preparing the existing project site and existing utility lines (water and sewage) for use within the command center.  A new backflow preventer with shut off valves and valve box was provided for the new waterline that connects the existing waterline to the command center.  The reinforced concrete mat footings for the dish antennas were supported on augercast concrete pile foundations and were designed to support all applicable dead and wind loads in accordance with the Florida Building Code.

The equipment for electrical power distribution for the antennas was installed outdoors on freestanding racks and counterpoise rings were installed around the antennas and command center to serve as the above grounding system.  The lightning protection systems for the antennas and command center were connected to the above grounding system.  The fire alarm system for the antennas included smoke detectors at each antenna pedestal and the fire alarm system for the command center included smoke detectors and notification devices connected to the fire alarm panel within the command center.  The communication system is fiber optic.