World’s greenest museum specifies Sill lighting for rainforest exhibit

Sill Lighting’s range of 003 metal halide projectors have been used in an impressive lighting scheme designed by Arup’s lighting designers for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

The high power projectors installed above the glass ‘bolla’ housing the rainforest exhibit provide the life support lighting that supplements the daylight that enters through the skylights in the concrete structure of the outer, living roof. Positioned in the confined space between the concrete roof and the 90-foot diameter glass dome, they illuminate through the glass onto the rainforest canopy, with its spiralling path that leads visitors through the close-up rainforest experience.

Arup specified 140 one and two kilowatt 003 series high power projectors from Sill, designed for the Osram HQI-TS lamp, as the light source has a high Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) efficiency, making them the closest to daylight. The high wattage fixtures have been installed outside the glass dome surrounding the Living Forest, keeping the temperature of the tree canopies below 100°F to provide a comfortable temperature for the butterflies in the exhibit. The fixtures have been arranged in clusters at the crossover of the roof beam with the power supply arranged over two separate circuits.

Arup carried out extensive research and testing to ensure that the best optic controls were used to minimise spill light and glare, maximising visibility and comfort.  The scheme also aims to minimise energy consumption using a fixed light dosage of 240 klux/hr delivered over an extended illumination period at a lower target light level. This innovative approach has also lowered the lighting capital costs and minimised the cooling load requirements by 25 percent.

Florence Lam led Arup’s lighting team from London in designing the rainforest exhibit lighting, architectural lighting and daylighting for this project and has been impressed with the final results, as she commented, “Sill’s high power metal halide projectors were best to meet the project requirements in terms of manufacturing quality, optical efficacy and operating temperature of up to 140F with special control gear.  After previously working with Sill Lighting on significant projects since the Rad-und Schwimmhalle in Berlin, I will always consider the company for future projects.”

The $488 million California Academy of Sciences is the result of a seven-year collaboration between Arup and the architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Stantec Architecture. The state-of-the-art facility which features a wide range of green building technologies and strategies is currently the greenest museum in the world.

The 003 high power projectors from Sill Lighting are used in major sports lighting, mirror system lighting and in the 005 variant are ideal for illuminating high buildings and structures – both versions can be equipped with five different reflectors to offer five emission angles, each with a minimum light spill and glare. The housings of the fittings have large heat dissipating cooling fins made of Si12 corrosion resistant die-cast aluminium and a strengthened main reflector made of 99.98% pure aluminium, chemically polished and anodised with a built-in anti-glare shield. The toughened front glass of the projector is protected by a fine stainless steel mesh and is silicon sealed into the aluminium bezel. The reflector is embedded in a die-cast aluminium, heat finned support ring which pivots on the mounting stirrup.

There are currently no comments for this article.

Login to comment. slider