California Academy of Sciences Goes ‘Double Platinum’, Received Second Top LEED Certification

The California Academy of Sciences already had a lot of green, earth-friendly things going for it, chiefly that a) it’s science-based and therefore concerned about such thing, b) it exists in a building designed to be super extra green by starchitect Renzo Piano, and c) it’s located in the Bay Area, which is the epicenter of all things green and caring about conservation. But now it just feels like they’re rubbing it in everyone’s faces. This week, despite already having received Platinum status through the U.S. Green Building Council‘s LEED system for rating sustainability, it was awarded a second Platinum nod for continuing to be sustainable after its three years in its new home (falling under the “Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance” category), something we’ve heard is much more difficult to do than just building something new and green. This “Double Platinum” makes it not only the world’s first museum to receive the rank, but it’s also the world’s largest building to hold the double, A+ rating. So okay, we get it already, California Academy of Sciences: your grass roof, your recycled denim insulation, and all those other clever sustainability things you’ve done prove that you like the earth. Now stop making the rest of us look so bad (particularly those of us part-time design blog editors who use an aerosol jet pack every day to get to the coal factory where we work). Here’s a bit from the announcement:

The Academy’s operations and maintenance practices were evaluated and earned points across six different categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process. Based on a wide range of green practices and performance metrics, including transportation, purchasing decisions, and waste disposal, it was awarded a total of 82 points, exceeding the threshold for a Platinum certification (80 points).

“Our LEED Platinum building is a marvelous example of sustainable architecture that has wowed millions of visitors since we opened three years ago,” said Dr. Gregory Farrington, Executive Director of the Academy. “However, it is more than just a building. It is also a stage — one that has allowed us to host a wide variety of programs and exhibits about the history and future of life on Earth. Delivering these programs as sustainably as possible helps us inspire our visitors to make sustainable choices in their own lives.”