March 12, 2012


Passion for innovation pays off: The Spaceship Company receives nearly $300,000 incentive for energy-efficient facility

MOJAVE, Calif.  The Spaceship Company (TSC), the joint venture of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, today received a $290,206 incentive check for completing the Savings By Design energy efficiency program with the design of its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar, or FAITH, at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

The California-based energy program, offered by Southern California Edison, provides building owners and design teams a range of services including design assistance, Design Team Incentives, Owners Incentives and Energy Design Resources. To encourage owners to invest in energy efficiency, the program incentivizes the construction of new buildings that exceed California’s Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards by at least 10 percent, based on a whole-building performance analysis. The maximum incentive per project is $500,000.

“The Spaceship Company was founded with the intention of making access to space both reliable and affordable,” said Enrico Palermo, The Spaceship Company Vice President, Operations. “FAITH’s energy-saving design reflects our company’s passion to develop innovative solutions not only for our vehicles and services, but our operating facilities, too.”

FAITH, a 68,000-square-foot facility used primarily for the final assembly, integration and testing of TSC vehicles, exceeds Title 24 requirements by 55 percent. By utilizing energy-efficient solutions, TSC earned a Savings By Design base incentive of $263,824 and an additional 10% incentive of $26,382 for LEED Certification. The project’s Design Team also earned the maximum incentive of $50,000 for working to ensure the design exceeds Title 24. The company will save an annual 701,779 kWh of electricity, primarily due to the efficient design of the Heat Recovery Variable Refrigerant Flow Heat Pump System. The lighting system, skylights and reflective flooring also contribute to the overall efficiency of the building.

“FAITH’s energy efficient design demonstrates Virgin Galactic’s continued investment in sustainable building designs. We employ innovative and sustainable practices in the design or commissioning of many of our facilities, such as TSC’s existing fabrication and sub-assembly facility in Mojave, the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space terminal at Spaceport America in New Mexico and the new Virgin Galactic office in Las Cruces, New Mexico,” said George Whitesides President and CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company.

FAITH was designed by Bakersfield, Calif.-based Wallace & Smith General Contractors. Frank Cantelmi Mechanical also provided computer simulation and analysis, plumbing, and electrical and mechanical design.