10 Sep 2020

“The Greenest Museum”-California Academy of Sciences

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The California Academy of Sciences is known as “the world’s greenest museum”. The museum was completed in September 2008, fully reflecting the trendy design of its team. The building was designed by the architect Piano, with a unique style and daring to innovate. Through innovative design, it perfectly combines sustainable technology with the natural ecosystem. It is also the only museum in the world that has obtained LEED Platinum certification.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

The exterior design of the museum is unique and can provide a green roof with an area of ​​up to 2.5 acres. Nearly 17,000 native California plants are planted on the roof. These plants are adapted to the local ecosystem, and this landscape requires almost no irrigation. It also attracts countless species of birds, butterflies and insects. Dozens of circular skylights dot the tropical rainforest dome roof, allowing natural light to filter, allowing the light to pass through these roof devices and illuminate the exhibits below.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

The central square of the museum is under this huge glass ceiling. During the summer vacation, the roof of the “car” is opened to allow the cool air flow at night to enter the building for natural ventilation, instead of using air conditioners to adjust the indoor temperature, making the building more energy-efficient. At the same time, the green roof uses 62,000 photovoltaic solar cells, providing nearly 213,000 kilowatt-hours of green energy each year, which can meet about 5% of the new college’s electricity demand.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

The observation deck with an area of approximately 3,500 square feet on the roof is one of the most popular exhibits in the museum. This viewing platform is equivalent to an outdoor museum, and is filled with green plants on the roof and beautiful views of Golden Gate Park, and can accommodate up to 200 people. A six-inch-deep green roof can reduce rainwater runoff by more than 90%, reduce energy requirements for air conditioning, and extend the service life of roof membranes.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

The entrance plaza and landscape of the museum form a second green roof on a two-story underground parking lot. With a depth of 2 to 4 feet of soil, this “intensive” roof greening is not deep enough for planting trees. Through the form of a public park, this green roof is more practical and energy-efficient.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

The floor space of the building is not very large, and the new landscape space of the museum is 1.5 mu. Flexible outdoor rooms provide convenient conditions for sculpture exhibits, cafes, banquets, and informal gatherings. Such a large museum design and strategic planting design ensure that 30% of the hard surface is gray, which helps to reduce the urban heat island effect.

"The Greenest Museum in the World"-California Academy of Sciences

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