A new project called Sustainability Base draws on NASA’s space experience to offer a futuristic look into sustainable building design. The prototype was designed by William McDonough and Partners. The building is ultra-efficient and far exceeds the necessary requirements to secure LEED® Platinum certification. It is designed to use renewable energy and closed-loop water maintenance facilities.
The building’s design offers phenomenal structural stability thanks to an exoskeleton. Its is earthquake resistant and it was conceived in a wind tunnel so it can withstand high winds. It also offers glare-free daylighting and shading, natural ventilation and a connection to the outdoors.
The two-story building boasts more than 50,000-square feet. On the rooftop there is a solid-oxide fuel cell and solar arrays which supply all of the buildings energy. A central computer optimizes building performance and controls lighting, heating, and cooling, coordinating weather forecasts with scheduled usage of building facilities, adjusting its formulas to learn and improve.
The building’s forward-osmosis water-filtration system recycles waste water for use as gray water. The plan is to license the technology and work with private vendors to make it commercially viable.