October 27, 2008

Greenest Museum in the World? The California Academy of Sciences.

Get me to San Francisco to see this in person. After a $500 million dollar re-model, the California Academy of Sciences has recently re-opened its doors to the public to see the features that make the new structure a LEED Platinum building. Housing an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum and 4-story rainforest, the most stunning feature of the building’s exterior is the expansive “living roof.” Senior curator and botanist Frank Alameda describes the roofs 2.5 acres in a recent Plenty Magazine interview as including: “plants that draw birds and butterflies, skylights that regulate the inside temperature and provide heat for the coral reef and rainforest, and the seven layers of the roof that absorb rainwater and prevent runoff.” Check out the full article to learn more about how the roof was constructed and the other sustainable features of the museum. I also liked this older Wired article for an interesting description of “how to grow the most natural history museum ever.”

The California Academy of Sciences new building is located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and is now home to 40,000 animals, the latest in digital media production, planetarium shows and coral reef dives.

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