Posts Tagged ‘LEED Platinum’

Greenest of the Green

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Kudos to the Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas, whose new interpretive center has been chosen as one of the American Institute of Architects’ Top Ten Green Projects of 2009. The Orientation Center contains an exhibit hall, theater, interactive children’s garden, classroom and exhibition greenhouses, and a water demonstration garden that shows how plants filter pollution from water, as well as a café, garden store, volunteer center, and administrative spaces. There are also several “outbuildings,” including a Nature Discovery Lab and pavilion, outdoor classrooms, a bird blind, and a boat house, deep in a cypress swamp. You can find lots of information on the LEED Platinum facility, including photos, on the AIA website.

A Celebration of Light and Life

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Get an online sneak peak of the new California Academy of Sciences, which will open this week. Unlike typical natural history museums, which architect Renzo Piano dubbed “kingdoms of darkness,” the stunning new facility is suffused with light. The combined natural history museum, aquarium, indoor rainforest, planetarium, and world-class research and education facility is on track for LEED Platinum certification. Its 2.5-acre living roof, which mimics the San Francisco Bay area’s rolling topography, is designed in part as replacement habitat for the imperiled Bay Checkerspot butterfly. A transparent four-story dome in the Academy’s east wing houses the “Rainforests of the World” exhibit, complete with birds, butterflies, and frogs living amongst the jungle vegetation. As executive director Greg Farrington notes, the new Academy looks forward and embraces life rather than cataloging the dark halls of distant history. The museum seeks to explore, in his words, “how we got here, and how are we going to find a way to stay.”