California Academy is new green model (Trends/Strategies)

November 9, 2005 · by DesignIntelligence

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco is the sole U.S. winner of the silver Holcim Foundation for Sustainable Construction Award.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new exhibition, education and research facility will feature a remarkable array of advances towards sustainability, the most notable advance being the "living roof," a two-plus-acre rooftop area covered by more than 1.7 million native California plants; the new building design returns one-acre of land to Golden Gate Park without exceeding the height of the previous structure.

Other notable elements of the project which is scheduled for completion in late 2008, are: the use of 100 percent recycled structural steel, 55,000 square-feet of photovoltaic cells, and roof-mounted electricity-generating wind turbines. One-hundred percent of the demolition waste from the old Academy was also recycled.

Through the use of innovative "green" measures and a host of traditional building techniques utilizing natural light and ventilation properties, the silver Holcim Award winning California Academy of Sciences building is striving for a platinum LEED rating.

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