Following three years of construction at a cost of $500 million, the California Academy of Sciences re-opened in late 2008 and is the largest platinum-rated LEED certified public building in the world. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the 400,000 sf structure was constructed with over 20,000 cubic yards of recycled concrete, 11 million pounds of recycled steel, and wall insulation made of recycled denim. The finished structure produces 50 percent less waste than the previous building, rainwater is recycled for irrigation, natural light is utilized in 90 percent of occupied space, and 60,000 photovoltaic solar cells help power the building.
Public space at the museum is divided by the the Steinhart Aquarium with its four-story rainforest ecosystem, Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum and the living roof. There is also a penguin habitat located within the Natural History Museum. Local SF residents can visit the museum for free on specified days based on what district they live in, dates can be found on the Cal Academy web site. Free admission to the facilities are also available every third Wednesday of the month. |CA Academy of Sciences|
Hours of Operation:
Mon-Sat: 9:30am – 5pm
Sun: 11am – 5pm