NASA Neutral Buoyancy Lab
Johnson Space Center
NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at Sonny Carter Training Facility is a unique facility that supports the training of astronauts for space walks with a 40 foot deep training pool. Roof leaks at the north end of the building were threatening to compromise training schedules and damage expensive equipment. NASA called on PDG Architects to solve the problem based upon our previous success resolving roof problems at NASA.
In several places in the NW quadrant of the building, insulation was holding water, causing it to sag and ultimately fall to 75 feet below the floor. PDG conducted a thorough investigation of the HVAC system, and temperature & humidity were monitored in the building. Anomalies in the fastener patterns in the roof panels were also investigated. Computer modeling of the building's structural frame revealed excessive movement on the NW corner of the building under certain wind load conditions, which allowed the infiltration of rain water, soaking the building insulation and the resultant symptoms outlined above.
Additional bracing was designed for the north end of the building. The fastener pattern for the roof sheets was enhanced to resist greater wind uplift. A new ridge closure detail was designed to accommodate movement across the roof plane and the entire roof was resurfaced with a new high performance elastomeric roof membrane.