Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Partners with BRPH, Ivey’s Construction and Spinnaker Group to Create Environmentally Sustainable Attraction
MELBOURNE, FLA. (June 16, 2023) – Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex® at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex recently earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The 50,000-square-foot attraction, which opened in June 2022, immerses guests in the present and future of collaborative space exploration via a thrilling two-story motion theater ride and a showcase of priceless NASA and commercial space hardware and displays.
A globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, LEED certification provides a framework for healthy, efficient, carbon and cost-saving green buildings and is backed by an industry of committed organizations and individuals paving the way for market transformation. This is the third structure at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to earn LEED Silver Certification: the 90,000-square-foot Space Shuttle Atlantis® attraction earned certification in 2014 and the 9,600-square-foot commissary warehouse in 2005. The visitor complex is operated for NASA by Delaware North Parks & Resorts at KSC.
“Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex is about educating our guests about what’s happening now in space exploration, and what’s next,” said Therrin Protze, chief operating officer, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. “Space exploration has spurred many environmental innovations that have found common uses here on Earth. It was important to us that in creating this attraction, we also create a building that has less of an impact on our environment.”
Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex met a variety of requirements to earn LEED Silver certification, including the provision of open outdoor space with native, drought-resistant landscaping; heat reductive paving and roofing methods; reduction of indoor and outdoor water use; enhanced commissioning and verification for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing; reduction in building energy costs with energy efficient lighting, efficient HVAC systems and a high-performance building envelope; use of recycled building materials; a 78 percent/four stream diversion of construction and demolition waste; enhanced indoor air quality strategies, including carbon dioxide monitoring, and enhanced exhaust and filtration strategies; use of low-emitting/low-VOC building materials; and use of green cleaning methods. The attraction also earned recognition for its innovative approach to promoting physical activity and improving the health of building users. By incorporating accessible, visually inviting ramps and staircases, as well as stimulating sensory features and signage, the attraction encourages occupants to engage in physical activity, resulting in an “Innovation in Design” credit toward its certification.
Delaware North Parks & Resorts at KSC partnered with BRPH, a nationally ranked firm headquartered in Melbourne, Fla., for architecture, design and engineering of its newest attraction. “It was a pleasure to work with Delaware North on our third LEED Silver project and to continue to promote the design of healthier, more efficient and less wasteful buildings, particularly in a high-volume, globally visited destination like Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex,” said Francisco Alvarado, BRPH vice president and business unit leader for entertainment. “We hope this building will serve as an example of beautifully designed, sustainable and efficient LEED design for years to come.”
Construction services were provided by Ivey’s Construction on Merritt Island, Fla. “The Ivey’s team was honored to partner with Delaware North, and the design team to bring this beautiful and environmentally responsible project to life,” said Ivey’s vice president and project manager, Steve Sergis. “Thanks to the LEED professionals who worked on Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex, more than 1,200 tons of materials were diverted to recycling facilities during the building’s construction. The incorporation of sustainable LEED design also resulted in maximized energy and water efficiency.”
LEED certification consulting was provided by the Spinnaker Group in West Palm Beach, Fla. Amy Ford, Sustainability Advisor for Spinnaker Group, a Division of SOCOTEC, said, “I am thrilled that Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex has achieved LEED Silver certification. The project team’s commitment to promoting occupants’ comfort and well-being through improved indoor air quality and high-quality lighting, among other sustainable design and operations practices, is noteworthy. This collaborative effort helped us make informed decisions that reduced environmental harm and saved resources, including conducting a life cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental consequences of the building’s materials and design choices. This project is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the project team and serves as a model for other organizations to follow in their pursuit of sustainable design and operations.”
According to the USGBC, to achieve LEED certification, a project earns points by adhering to prerequisites and credits that address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health and indoor environmental quality. Projects go through a verification and review process by GBCI and are awarded points that correspond to a level of LEED certification: Certified (40-49 points), Silver (50-59), Gold (60-79 points) and Platinum (80+ points).
ABOUT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX – Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering multiple days of fun, inspiration and educational activities. Included with admission: the all-new Gateway: The Deep Space Launch Complex®, Heroes & Legends, featuring the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, presented by Boeing, Space Shuttle Atlantis®, Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted, space films, the Rocket Garden, Planet Play and the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Just 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. The new, two-day ticket, which can be used for up to six months from purchase and averages a cost of less than $45 per day, is now available for $89 per adult and $79 per child. Single-day admission is $75 per adult, $65 per child. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.
ABOUT BRPH – BRPH is a technically focused, creative AEC firm dedicated to solving clients’ most challenging problems through architecture, engineering, design, interior design, construction and mission solutions. The firm partners with mission-driven clients in the aerospace, defense, manufacturing, commercial, education, entertainment and hospitality markets to identify gaps in their program delivery, then plans, designs, manages and constructs facilities and solutions that get the job done – beautifully and intelligently. Founded in 1964 to support America’s space program, BRPH is consistently ranked among the nation’s top firms and has completed a wide range of projects across the United States and throughout the world. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, BRPH operates regional offices in Orlando; South Florida; Atlanta; Charleston, South Carolina; Huntsville, Alabama; Seattle; Phoenix; and Palmdale, California. For more information, visit brph.com.
ABOUT IVEY’S CONSTRUCTION – Celebrating 50 years in business, Ivey’s Construction is a full-service Florida State Certified General Contractor providing a full range of services including construction management, design-build, and Certified Advanced Steel Erection.
ABOUT SPINNAKER GROUP – Spinnaker Group, a Division of SOCOTEC, is transforming lives by fostering sustainable, resilient, and healthy spaces. Established in 2003, Spinnaker Group has built a reputation for delivering high-quality sustainable building projects, with more than 150 LEED Certified projects, over 700 million sf. of commissioned building space, and more than $10 billion in project values worldwide.