San Francisco, CA
Electric Lighting & Daylighting Design
Bruce Damonte Photography, We-ef Lighting
Brennan Schumacher, LEED AP
Associate Principal, Lighting Design Studio Leader
Achieving Net Zero without sacrificing function and aesthetics
The Exploratorium is a world renowned science museum in San Francisco’s historic Wharf area located on Piers 15 and 17. The new LEED Platinum Certified facility on a 9-acre historic site was completed 2013.
Green Building Elements
This 230,000 square foot Net Zero project is pushing “green Building” limits by using innovative energy systems such as a bay water cooling system, radiant heating and cooling, and a 1,300 KW PV rooftop system. There is an extensive use of daylighting, which is unusual for a museum. The overall lighting power density is 0.78 watts per square foot, including all building mounted exhibit lighting loads. The lighting systems are controlled through fully programmable breakers, occupancy sensors, daylight sensors and low voltage control stations.
Located on a pier, the unique site presented many lighting design challenges. Due to high public usage, the exterior lighting systems needed to meet egress criteria set forth by the Port Authority and State Historical Society while meeting current Life Safety Codes typically applied to interior environments. This required careful study, calculations, and on-site mockups. The exterior lighting systems included custom pole bases that also serve as utilities for power and data. Low glare, full cutoff luminaires addressed light pollution and trespass.
2016 AIA COTE Top Ten Award
AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten LEED Platinum Certification
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