Slideshow: NASA's new ultragreen office building

NASA plans to officially open its new Sustainability Base building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday. The 50,000-square-foot building, pictured left and below, is located at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and is under consideration for the highest U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating of Platinum.

The building uses lightweight insulated metal panel cladding, which meant that less material was required during construction. Designers also chose a steel structure instead of concrete because steel can be more easily taken down and repaired after a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

In addition, the building is designed to regulate itself based on changes in the weather. It's equipped with green IT to enable it to anticipate and respond to changes in sunlight, temperature, wind and occupancy and make adjustments accordingly to keep it as energy efficient as possible, NASA says.

It also includes some of NASA's own technologies, including a Bloom Energy Box fuel cell and a water recovery system originally designed for the International Space Station.

Photos by Eric James/NASA

NASA unveiled the Sustainability Base to reporters Thursday. Join us on a short slideshow tour of some of the key features -- including ventillation pumps, solar power and water, automatic lighting controls, natural lighting and more -- by clicking below.

Next photo: The unveiling