California Academy of Sciences
San Francisco, CA

The renovation project for the world renown California Academy of Sciences will elevate their campus into one of the world’s leading museums. With the expectation of becoming the largest public LEED® Platinum complex, renowned architect Renzo Piano focused his attention on the sustainable “green” strategies.

The Academy consists of over 410,000 square feet of research, exhibition, educational and office space. The natural history museum will house the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, millions of scientific specimens and thousands of live animals.

The new museum will consume 30% less energy than required by federal code. With the innovative design of the planted roof, this system will provide thermal insulating for the building that will help prevent overheating and reduce energy needs for air conditioning during the warm months.

The museum is one of the ten “green building” projects in San Francisco. Since sustainable design is such an important factor, the elevator systems will use current technology including machine room-less elevators with energy saving, permanent, magnet motors and hydraulic elevator systems with low level contaminate vegetable based oils in lieu of the traditional petroleum based oil. Several of the passenger elevators complement the unique architectural design by using glass cabs that will appear to descend into the 212,000 gallon aquarium providing an exciting visual experience. Other elevators will allow visitors to experience the levels of a tropical rain forest as the elevators move from the rain forest canopy to the forest level.


410,000 sf