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Rosendin Rosendin

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA

California Academy of Sciences

Project Summary

When construction was completed in 2008, the California Academy of Sciences Museum was considered the “greenest” building in the US. The project includes a rainforest, a planetarium, a museum of natural history, world-class research laboratories, an aquarium, office and retail spaces, and exhibit floors, all under one roof. The roof is a 2.5 acre “Living Roof” that is planted with dozens of native California species. Surrounding the roof are 60,000 photovoltaic solar panel cells. These solar panels will provide up to 10% of the Museum’s electrical needs and prevent the release of 405,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year. Rosendin has applied many of the technologies used in this project to all other projects, especially lighting control systems. The dimming system integrates the lighting, automated windows, and skylights, and window shade control systems, speaking directly to the Building Management System (BMS) to open windows, raise and lower shades, and dim or brighten lighting, depending on the time of day, outside air temp and humidity, as well as natural daylight. This system seamlessly integrates into the Museum’s temperature control system, offering a perfect working platform for passive and mechanical cooling and lighting control systems.

Photo Credits

Aerial Photography By Proehl Studios
Interior Photography By John Paulson

California Academy of Sciences

An award-winning aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one roof!

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA
City & County of San Francisco - Parks & Recreation Department
General Contractor
Webcor Builders
Renzo Piano
38 Months
$500 Million
400,000 SF

Project Facts


LEED Double Platinum museum


Academy's electricity from clean energy sources

166K kWh

Energy savings per year despite a 52% increase in computing capacity

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