The California Academy of Science, now under construction in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is designed by the renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Renzo Piano. The innovative structure will be the highest rated LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environment Design) platinum level, joining only eight other buildings in the United States.
Here are some of highlights of this remarkable building:
1. 60,000 photo voltaic cells in the roof supplying almost 213,000 kWh
2. The planted roof will provide thermal insulation
3. Reverse osmosis humidification system will reduce energy consumption 95%
4. Living roof will reduce storm water runoff by 50%
5. Reclaimed water will reduce the potable wastewater by 90%
6. Saltwater for the aquariums will be piped from the Pacific Ocean
7. 90% of the occupied space will have access to daylight
8. Skylights in the dooms will draw cool air from below and feed rainforest
9. 100% of the demolition waste from old Academy was re-cycled
10. Recycled steel will be used in 100% of the building structure
11. Building walls are made from re-cycled blue jeans (85% post industrial)
12. All the concrete contains 30% fly ash (waste product of coal-fired plants)
The massive, living roof, which is being constructed now, is the most remarkable biosphere. About 1.7 million plants will thrive on the roof. Nine native species planted on the roof that will not require irrigation and will provide sustenance to many native species of birds and insects.
The issue of water is addressed on the ‘living roof.’ 90% of the gray water will be reclaimed from the roof run off.
Some of the remarkable presentation in the Academy will include the most biodiversity and interactive aquariums in the world. Home to 38,000 animals, the Coral Reef tank will be the second largest in the world, with animals including sharks, rays, sea turtles and 4,000 colorful reef fish.
The90 foot tall, glass dome roof will provide light and water to the four distinct rainforest environments: the Amazonian Flooded Forest; the Borneo Rainforest Floor; the Madagascar Rainforest Understory; and the Costa Rica Rainforest Canopy.
One of the world’s largest planetariums, New Morrison Dome, will be a part of the Academy as well.