5 Green Roofs that Showcase System Flexibility

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Museum Pushes Innovation

PHOTO CREDIT: TIM GRIFFITH

San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences is a natural history museum with a 197,000-square-foot rooftop that accommodates a living tapestry of native plant species. In an effort to recreate San Francisco's rolling hills, the roof has extreme drips and slopes. According to the museum, the roof's designers used 50,000 porous, biodegradable trays made from tree sap and coconut husks, which act as containers for the vegetation. The trays enable the roots to grow together, binding them together so no plants fall off.

The museum's green rooftop keeps the building's interior an average of 10 degrees cooler than a standard roof would. The plants transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, capture rainwater, and reduce energy needs for heating and cooling. The museum utilizes daylighting strategies by way of skylights above the larger domes that open and close throughout the day.


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