One of San Francisco’s most exciting green projects is the construction of the newCalifornia Academy of Sciences building, designed by renown architect Renzo Piano, to be topped by an undulating, functional, not-to-mention HUGE living green roof. Construction is underway, and they’re making huge headway on the roof, engineered by Rana Creek in collaboration with Piano. Not only will this roof provide all the sustainable benefits that living roofs bring to a structure, but it will be visible from within the exhibition spaces, connecting inside and out, and engaging the context of San Francisco’s flora-filled backdrop.

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The roof itself is estimated to prevent approximately two million gallons of rainwater from becoming storm-water runoff. It will also provide excellent insulation, improve air quality, and require very little maintenance. Part of it will be accessible to museum visitors as well, featuring a landscaping exhibition space.

“The architectural design of the new Academy responds to the Academy’s mission, history, and setting. Inspired by the natural world, nature will become part of the building itself. A living roof will slope over interior exhibitions and read as hills against the natural landscape. The new building will be an organic extension of the Academy’s commitment to understand and protect the natural world around us.”

The new Academy building will house an aquarium, planetarium, and exhibition spaces, and is set to open in 2008. Aside from its green roof, the building is a feat of institutional green building, using some of the most cutting-edge energy efficiency strategies, daylighting, possible biofuels, and water reclamation. Yet another great green project from the city by the Bay- we’ll be sure to keep you updated on the construction progress.

Check out some great construction videos and interviews on the California Academy of Sciences website here>>

+ California Academy of Sciences New Academy Building