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U.S. EPA Administrator presents 2006 Environmental Award to the California Academy of Sciences

Release Date: 07/25/2006
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano 415-947-4307

Administrator Johnson touts the importance of “Green Building” in new construction
SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today visited San Francisco personally present the agency’s regional 2006 Environmental Award to the California Academy of Sciences for their work incorporating state-of-the-art green building elements into their new facility under construction in Golden Gate Park.

The EPA received more than 160 nominations this year from groups and individuals in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Guam and the Pacific Territories. The California Academy of Sciences was one of 39 recipients to be selected in this very elite group of environmental champions.

"The current California heat wave and the ninth day of sweltering temperatures throughout the state reminds all of us that energy conservation is key to maintaining both our environmental and economic health," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "President Bush and EPA believe that environmental responsibility is everyone's responsibility, and through the Academy's focus on sustainable design and operation, visitors will learn how building green makes sense for our environment and our wallets."

“In rebuilding the Academy of Sciences we are able to create a building that is the literal embodiment of our mission to explore, explain and protect he natural world,” said Dr. Frank Ahlmeda, California Academy of Sciences Botany chair. “Our goal was to create a building that would not only hold powerful exhibitions, but serve as an exhibit itself, inspiring people to help protect our astonishing planet.”

The New Academy hopes to achieve the highest rating from the US Green Building Council, a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED rating.

This project far exceeds San Francisco’s LEED Silver standard for municipal buildings, adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2004, and will serve as a benchmark against which San Francisco and the country will measure the environmental performance of its buildings for years to come,” said Mark Palmer, Municipal Green Building Coordinator for the City of San Francisco.

Founded in 1853, the California Academy of Sciences is the largest cultural institution in San Francisco. The Academy's new building will house 18 million natural history specimens including a planetarium, research laboratories, and administrative offices all under one living green roof. The new California Academy of Sciences building showcases world-class architecture by Pritzker Prize Laureate Renzo Piano. The building will feature an undulating living roof covered with acres of native plant species and will use state-of-the-art technologies to conserve water and energy and reduce pollution while using environmentally friendly building materials. Opening in 2008, the new California Academy of Sciences will set a standard of sustainable architectural design, while imparting environmental stewardship.

The Region 9 Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitment and significant contributions to the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands.

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