55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

Parking and traffic in Golden Gate Park will be congested the weekend of Oct. 3–5. Save $3 on Academy admission when you take public transportation.

Fly on the Wall 

January 29, 2009

Gadgets on the Roof

The weather stations on the Academy’s living roof are an integral part of our building’s natural ventilation system. The stations gather data all day long, and feed it into a computer which controls when the various windows and skylights open and close, among other functions. The entire system is automated, and allows the building to work in harmony with the surrounding environment to cool all of the public spaces without air conditioning.

Each station packs five different instruments into one unit, and can measure solar radiation, rainfall, wind speed and direction, temperature, and humidity. As for which instrument is which, see the caption below this photo to find out.
Weather Station
1. Rain gauge
2. Solar radiation sensor
3. Wind direction
4. Anemometer (wind speed)
5. Temperature and humidity gauge

Filed under: Sustainability — Helen @ 12:48 pm


  1. Thank you so very much! This information is good for the public, of course, but mostly for us, guides and docents, who need to know about these features and answer questions, particularly to satisfy the very active minds of children.

    Comment by Susana Conde — February 1, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

  2. So, are you going to post the readings from the weather station online? As a neighbor, I’d appreciate it!

    Comment by Josh Berkus — February 1, 2009 @ 9:04 pm

  3. Yes, I too would appreciate seeing the data from these instruments published.

    Comment by Teresa — March 16, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

  4. Another voice for publishing the weather data. I live nearby and am considering putting a small wind turbine on my roof. It’d be great to know what the rooftop winds are doing


    Comment by Michael Farr — April 29, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  5. A quick update from the Academy – we are looking into posting real-time readings from the Academy roof on our website (stay tuned). And in the meantime, we’ve just launched the first ever webcam on the Farallones, so if you’re curious about the weather out there, check it out at http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones/.

    Comment by Helen — June 8, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

  6. It would be nice if you could add your weather station to the Weather Underground website. There is a station in SeaCliff and Golden Gate Heights/Forest Hill but none in between. Golden Gate Park and your roof being green should give a more accurate reading. But you should check with a meteorologist to see if you gage is too close to the surface.

    Comment by Don E — August 1, 2009 @ 11:53 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Academy Blogroll