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Greening of the Aquarium

Sustainable Construction

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The Aquarium’s Pacific Collections store is 3 Green Globes certified

The newly expanded and renovated Pacific Collections gift store. View with backdrop of kelp glass wall.

“Kelp glass wall” of the Pacific Collections gift store

Native plants founds at the Watershed Garden

SAVOR Watershed classroom and Our Watersheds — the first LEED® Platinum building in the city of Long Beach.

Our Watersheds: Pathway to the Pacific serves as a learning tool for green design and water conservation awareness.

The Aquarium of the Pacific was the first aquarium in the nation with a carbon-neutral building.

Building construction account for a significant portion of today’s environmental issues. The Aquarium believes that by adopting “green” building strategies for design, construction, and operation of buildings we can put less pressure on the environment while at the same time improving living conditions.

What we do

Since 2005 all major construction projects at the Aquarium have been designed and built to sustainable standards. Information about our green building projects is shared with our visitors so they can better understand the importance (and ease) of implementing environment-wise use practices. Two examples of these projects are the Our Watershed—Pathway to the Pacific and Pacific Collections Store.

Our Watersheds: Pathway to the Pacific
This exhibit and the SAVOR Watershed Classroom are a showpiece for green building design, acting as an educational exhibit on alternative energy, sustainable design, water conservation and recycling. Every component of the carbon-neutral classroom provides an opportunity to raise the environmental awareness of both students and visitors: from the building’s greenroof to reduction of stormwater runoff and enhancement of thermal performance, to the solar energy that powers the classroom’s lights, fans, and retractable window coverings. Even the chairs are made of recycled material! It is the first LEED®(Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum building in Long Beach.

Pacific Collections Store
The remodel of the Aquarium’s 1998 store resulted in a green building design, operation, and management that enabled the Aquarium to become the first among U.S. aquariums and zoos to receive a 3 Green Globes® certification from the Green Building Initiative. The store’s sustainable features include an expansive glazing system with decorative film to help birds avoid collisions, several skylights and solar tubes for natural day lighting, and high recycled content flooring materials. Over 90% of the construction waste was sent to a recycling facility instead of diverting it to a landfill. The store also features eco-friendly, locally made souvenirs with sustainability messaging for visitors.

What you can do

  • If you or your employer are undertaking a construction project research sustainable construction.
    Have your contractor use sustainable materials, reduce construction waste, and follow other LEED or Green Globes recommendations available on their website.
  • Install a solar tube!
    Tubular skylights harness more sunlight than traditional skylights and are less expensive to install.