CBE Facade Map

Supporting the adoption of advanced facade design strategies and technologies

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California Academy of Sciences


San Francisco, CA, U.S.

Principal Use


Design Architect

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Anything about the engineers? Facade consultants?

Stantec Architecture

Gross Floor Area

37,161 m2 Units SI IP

400,002 ft2

Reason(s) for inclusion

Building Name

California Academy of Sciences


55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118

Description / Additional Information

Describe the key innovation and technology aspects of the project

Project Narrative

The California Academy of Sciences museum of natural history accommodates open exhibit spaces, a planetarium, aquarium, laboratories, collection storage spaces, and offices. The predicted energy use of 103 KBtu/sf/yr (12 percent below ASHRAE 90.1-1999)95was driven in part by the fairly stringent relative humidity and temperature requirements in the rainforest (79° to 84°F with 50 to 70 percent relative humidity), planetarium, aquariums, laboratory and collection storage spaces.

General Information

Year completed (or major renovation)


Construction Cost


Climate Zone


Building Certifications (check all that apply)

  • LEED

External Links

Link(s) for more information

Other Design Features

Energy Performance

Energy Use Intensity (energy consumption per year)

152 kWh/m2/year

1,630 kBtu/ft2/year

Construction Type

Construction Type

  • Massive Facade Construction

Prevalent Glazing Type

  • double glazing
  • dynamic glass

Main Cladding Material

  • Concrete

Approximate WWR (measured from the inside)


Typical U-value Glazed Facade Elements

2 W/(m2⋅K)

0 Btu/(h·ft2⋅F)

Typical G-value Glazed Facade Elements


Typical VLT Glazed Facade Elements


Typical U-value Solid Facade Elements

0.16 W/(m2⋅K)

0.03 Btu/(h·ft2⋅F)

Skin Type

Skin Type

  • Single Skin Facade

Solar Shading

Solar Shading Strategy

  • Dynamic Exterior Shading

Exterior shading

  • Custom Movable Elements

Glazing-integrated shading

  • Dynamic Microlouvers


Is there natural ventilation through the facade?


Type of Ventilation Strategy

  • Single-sided

Relationship to Mechanical Systems

  • Alternative (when natural vent is on mechanical is off)

Ventilation Operation Type

  • Manual
  • BMS controlled with overrides

Ventilation Control Strategy

  • Based on Both


Is daylight simulation part of the design process?



Embodied Carbon

Was a carbon assesment of the facade conducted in the design phase?


Energy Generation

Does the facade produce energy?



Active or Passive?

Description / Additional Information