Johnson Space Center Central Plant Upgrade



Shah Smith & Associates, Inc. prepared construction documents and provided construction management services for replacement of a 60,000 lb/hr steam boiler and two-2000 ton steam turbine drive chillers serving the NASA Johnson Space Center.  The boiler produces 400 psig, 600°F steam for driving steam turbines on three chillers, and to pressure reducing stations for providing 100 psig steam to the utility tunnel for serving the buildings at the center.  The new boiler uses flue gas recirculation and the latest burner technologies to significantly reduce NOx emissions.  This is required since the Houston-Galveston area had been found to be a non-attainment zone for NOx and major sources, such as JSC, are required to reduce emissions by 90% over the next several years.  The design documents addressed specific requirements for asbestos and lead paint abatement that was required during the removal of the boiler and steam piping.

The new chillers use R134a refrigerant, replacing the 40-year-old chillers which were originally designed to use CFC refrigerant.  By maintaining both electric and steam drive chillers in the plant, JSC has fuel flexibility to help address future fluctuations in the energy market.

Site Owner



Houston, TX

Project Cost


Project Completion



Central Plant
CUP & Infrastructure
Federal Government