Autodesk makes software for people who make things. If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software. Autodesk gives you the power to make anything, but some segments of the general public are not yet aware of that.
The Autodesk Gallery at One Market in San Francisco celebrates design — the process of taking a great idea and turning it into a reality. With about 60 different exhibits regularly on display that showcase the innovative work of Autodesk customers, the gallery illustrates the role technology plays in great design and engineering. Autodesk Gallery Ambassadors conduct gallery tours as a sideline to their day jobs. The tours provide ambassadors with opportunities to practice public speaking in front of small groups.
The California Academy of Sciences exhibit is an exhibit that you see in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction section on the 2nd floor of our One Market office in San Francisco:
- Autodesk AutoCAD // more
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- Arup Oasys LS-dyna and GSA
- CSI ETABS 9
- CSI SAFE
- CSI SAP2000
- Energy Plus
- Fire Dynamics Simulator
Billed as the greenest museum in the world, the structure houses a natural history museum, planetarium, aquarium, and living rainforest and requires little or no A/C or heating due to its innovative domed roof design that acts like an airplane wing to provide ventilation.
The California Academy of Science houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum (home to 18 million specimens), and living rainforest. If having four typical museums in one place is not impressive enough, it is considered the greenest museum in the world. The seven structural domes that are part of its roof were inspired by the seven hills of San Francisco. Though the domes are a meaningful and appropriate accent to the structure, the roof is more than that. The domes are functional and act as part of the passive ventilation system as the steep slopes of the rooftop's hills draw cool air into the open piazza at the center of the building. This reduces the need for traditional air conditioning/heating, resulting in lower operational costs, and a smaller carbon footprint. To improve its sustainability even further, the 2.5-acre green roof, the world's largest, is adorned with 1.7 million drought-resistent native plants as well as a photovoltaic canopy.
"With the new Academy, we have created a museum that is visually and functionally linked to its natural surroundings, metaphorically lifting up a piece of the park and putting a building underneath."
— Renzo Piano
The Academy's extensive use of high-performance glass — which reduces solar heat gain, minimizing energy required for cooling — enables 90% of the building's interior offices to use lighting from natural sources. As its name indicates, the Academy is located in California also known as earthquake country. Although their use of glass as part of the roof provides the benefit of natural light, in the event of an earthquake, glass falling from the ceiling is a bad idea. To avoid this, a grid system consisting of rods and weights holds each pane in place. During an earthquake, the grid system will absorb the shock without breaking the glass.
Parametric design (specifying the layout using an equation instead of individually) via AutoCAD yielded the intricate design which has variations at each intersection point of the roofing grid.
AutoCAD 3D tools aided in modeling of geometry and creating models to test the grid system. To recreate world renown architect, Renzo Piano's, unique shape, rods of different lengths were required. Rather than calculate the rod lengths manually, designers supplied AutoCAD with a formula for the shape and allowed the design to be computed parametrically. This level of automation takes the tedium out of specifying such intricate designs, and by modeling them digitally, allows them to be tested on the computer before they are physically constructed.
Reconnecting to the natural environment with lightness, transparency, and sustainability, the Academy employs complex systems for water conservation, power generation, wind and ventilation dynamics, and sunlight penetration to be the greenest museum in the world indeed.
Thanks to the Autodesk Gallery team for the descriptive text for this blog post.
Autodesk has always been an automation company, and today more than ever that means helping people make more things, better things, with less; more and better in terms of increasing efficiency, performance, quality, and innovation; less in terms of time, resources, and negative impacts (e.g., social, environmental). The California Academy of Science is a museum dedicated to doing more and better with less.
The Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco is open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is a guided tour on Wednesdays at 12:30 pm and a self-guided audio tour available anytime. Admission is free. Visit us.
Exhibitionism is alive in the lab.