Living roof hills are home to native plants

kirstendirksen | January 27, 2011 | It’s one of the most expansive and one of the most complex living roofs ever designed—the 197,000-square-foot rooftop is home to 1.7 million native plants—but the crown on architect Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences is more than simply a home for native plant species, it’s also an integral part of the smart building design. Up here there are weather stations that report on wind, rain and temperature changes to a central computer. This feedback is used to open and shut the roof’s skylights (as well as the building’s windows) to create automated passive ventilation. In other words, this smart system means the building doesn’t need air conditioning (The skylights are also computer-controlled to provide natural daylighting where needed most).
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