This post is in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Green
This picture on the left is a view from the Deck of the Music Concourse Area, which is a sunken, oval-shaped open-air plaza, with the Spreckels Temple of Music on the right side of this picture. The Music Concourse also provides a good open space for pedestrians who walk all over the plaza, appreciating the beautiful park, and the two main cultural attractions: the California Academy of Science, and the de Young Museum.
The main purpose of this post is to share with you the information that the California Academy of Sciences is the greenest museum in the world. This is something that the San Franciscans should be proud of.
To understand why this museum is the greenest in the world, I have extracted some information from the Museum’s website about the sustainable design of the building:
“On October 7, 2008, the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the Academy a Platinum-level LEED certification.The program, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), was launched by the council in 1998. The program enables all segments of the building industry to seize the opportunity for leadership by implementing nationally recognized guidelines for sustainable design and construction. In addition to demonstrating the values of the Academy, a LEED-certified building costs less to operate and maintain and—compared to a conventional building—can make a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions.
Points for the coveted LEED certificate are awarded in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The U.S. Green Building Council offers four levels of LEED certificates (Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum). They range from Certified, in which 50% of the points are achieved, to Platinum, in which 80% or more of the points are awarded.
The Academy is now the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world, and also the world’s greenest museum with a total score of 54 points.
The Material World
- 90% of all demolition materials were recycled
- 32,000 tons of sand from foundation excavation applied to dune restoration projects in San Francisco
- 95% of all steel from recycled sources
- 15% fly ash (a recycled coal by-product), 35% slag in concrete
- 50% of lumber harvested from sustainable-yield forests
- 68% of insulation comes from recycled blue jeans
- 90% of office space will have natural light and ventilation
- 60,000 photovoltaic cells; 213,000 kilowatt-hours
- 30% less energy consumption than federal code requirement”
“From the basement to the roof of the Academy’s new building, the choices behind each element of construction reflect a commitment to energy efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint, and preserving the natural world.”
Above is a closer view of the roof. This picture and quotes are also from the museum website of the sustainable design of the building.
Meet The Architect, Renzo Piano
|By any measure, Renzo Piano stands among the world’s greatest architects. As the jury awarding him the 1998 Pritzker Prize wrote, “Piano achieves a rare melding of art, architecture, and engineering in a truly remarkable synthesis. He celebrates structure in a perfect union of technology and art.” “I try to get at the fundamental emotion of a site,” says the architect. The roof design “is like lifting up a piece of the park and putting a building under it.” “This museum has always worked on three levels – displaying the collection, educating the public, researching the science. The spirit of this new building is to announce and enforce this complexity of function.”|
If you are interested, this is a short video of Renzo Piano being interviewed at the California Academy of Science about his vision of the design of the building and his receipt of the award.
After reading all the above information, would you agree with me that these three photos I took have met the challenge: Green? I hope you would.