The Academy is a masterpiece of sustainable architecture, blending seamlessly into its setting while employing a wide variety of innovative features and operations to minimize its footprint.

When it became clear in 1989 that the Academy needed a new home, the goal was to create a physical manifestation of the Academy's mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Renowned architect Renzo Piano responded with a breathtaking building that's inspired millions of visitors since opening in 2008. Seamlessly integrated into its Golden Gate Park setting, the Academy has set new standards for energy efficiency and environmentally responsible engineering.

Our facility earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest ratings for its eco-friendly design and operations, making the Academy the world’s first Double Platinum museum—and the largest Double Platinum building in the world. The Academy received its first LEED Platinum rating in the "New Construction" category—covering the design and construction process—and its second in the "Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance" category, certifying that our day-to-day operations and practices meet the highest standards of sustainability. 

Image of the Rainforests of the World exhibit

Efficient Building Design

From our high-tech basement to our beautifully green Living Roof, the Academy's building and operations reflect a commitment to energy efficiency, reducing our carbon footprint, and preserving natural resources.

Image showing solar panels on the roof of the Academy building.

Sustainable Materials

A variety of innovative, eco-friendly materials were used in the construction of the new Academy building to maximize water and energy efficiency while minimizing environmental impact. 

LEED Building certification badge

Efficient Daily Operations

Our day-to-day operations are designed to keep the Academy running as efficiently as possible. We aren't just enjoying our second LEED Platinum rating; we're actively working to advance the definition of sustainable practices.


Image of architect Renzo Piano

Meet the Architect

It all began with architect Renzo Piano’s idea to "lift up a piece of the park and put a building underneath." Learn more about the man whose vision informed the Academy's remarkable home.