Cal Academy's Green Credentials

Energy efficiency: The new CAS building will use 30-35 percent less energy than required by code thanks to:

•    A radiant floor heating system that will reduce energy needs by 5-10 percent
•    A heat-recovery system that will capture and reuse heat produced by HVAC equipment
•    High-performance glass that reduces energy loss through heat absorption
•    Reverse osmosis humidification systems that reduce energy consumption for humidification by 95 percent
•    Natural light reaches 90 percent of regularly used spaces and reduces consumption of electricity
•    Natural ventilation through openings in the undulated roof system and motorized windows
•    60,000 photovoltaic cells on the roof will supply nearly 213,000 kWh of energy per year (the equivalent of 5 percent of the Academy’s energy needs) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 405,000 pounds
•    Bathroom sensor faucets recharge themselves as water flows through an internal turbine, which generates power and charges the battery
•    A grey-water system and low-flow fixtures will reduce the use of potable water by 30 percent

Recycled and sustainable materials:

•    Over 90 percent of demolition waste from the old academy was recycled, including 9,000 tons of concrete that were used in construction of roadways in Richmond, California
•    Over 50 percent of the wood used in the new building is Forest Stewardship Council certified
•    All of the building’s structural steel is recycled
•    All of the insulation is made from recycled blue jeans
•    All of the concrete contains 30 percent fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, and 20 percent slag, a waste product from metal smelting, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 5,375 tons
•    Over 20 percent of building materials were harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of the Academy

Living roof: The 1.7 million plants on the 2.5-acre roof:

•    Decrease the urban heat island effect by staying 40 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than standard roofs
•    Provide insulation to keep interior temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler and noise levels 40 decibels less than standard roofs
•    Absorb up to 3.6 million gallons (98 percent) of storm water a year, preventing runoff to carry pollutants into the ecosystem

Photo © Tim Griffith/CAS

California Academy of Sciences Location: San Francisco, California Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

California Academy of Sciences Location: San Francisco, California Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop

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