Energy efficiency was one of the top priorities for the design of the museum, and Renzo Piano and his team implemented a number of sustainable design strategies to minimize energy use. Many of the facades are clad with green stone to absorb solar energy, while natural ventilation helps keep the building cool when necessary. Windows and facades were carefully designed to optimize the building’s thermal properties, and daylighting reduces the energy load from lighting.
Photovoltaic panels on the roof produce some electricity for the building and a geothermal system provides energy-efficient heating and cooling. Rainwater collected from the roof reduces the building’s water usage by 50% and is used to irrigate the indoor garden. Some of the materials are sourced locally and bamboo is used for the exhibition floors. Finally, space is provided for bike parking along with showers and changing rooms for employees, and car parking spaces are limited to encourage the use of public transportation.