Quick Links

NASA Johnson Space Center Laboratory

Project Description

Bovay was retained to provide an Energy Management Program and Assessment to make the modifications and renovations of the existing building to accommodate the Software Development and Integration Laboratory (SDIL) and the Training Facility (SCTF) at Sonny Carter Ellington Field.



The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had an extreme urgency in integrating and enhancing the effectiveness of the International Space Station (ISS) program requirements by consolidating several programs at the SDIL building. The SDIL renovation and expansion allowed NASA to house $185 million worth of very sensitive equipment for the ISS program.


The project required the modification of the lobby area, administration offices, elevators, upgrade, new electrical service to the building and modification to the existing electrical vault, new emergency power generator and utility infrastructure to maintain operation under category 3 storms. 


Bovay designed the facility environmental systems using innovative techniques that allowed the client to properly phase the construction and operate with no interruption of service. Furthermore, Bovay designed a new power distribution system that only expanded the needed power requirements of the final SDIL, but also provided extreme reliability to the building to support the International Space Station program for a 24/7 system operation. Bovay designed a new service with two high voltages 12.5kV from the utility company and two 2,000kVA transformers to step voltage down to the needed utilization voltage of 480/277 volts, and to provide the essential 24 hour day backup reliability. The new emergency power backup system required the analysis of the single line diagram of the existing building power systems, condition assessments of all major electrical system components, existing and future demand load calculation of the building complex, existing code violations and recommendations to correct system deficiencies and improve its overall reliability with the new system.


Some of the systems designed included an overheard HVAC system and under the floor forced air cooling with a constant non-condensing relative humidity range of 40-60%. The raised floor also included a water detection system, a CO2 gas system activated by smoke detectors for fire protection and new above ground cable tray for power and controls.