The goal of the design is to create an environment where the animals are comfortable and thrive. The moment guests enters the "African Forest" they will be amazed by the 40' tall buttressed tropical tree connected by duplex coated aerial trails. Keeping the animals comfortable while allowing patrons to view the animals in their natural habitat is the primary goal. Duplex coating secures the exhibit while not only being protected with galvanizing, but also an additional layer of protection from the paint. The overhead trail allows for visitors to get close with the primates in their manufactured natural habitat, while remaining completely safe the entire time. Using steel that is galvanized, then painted, ensures a lifetime of use while blending in with the surrounding environment.
“With the trails, we can get out as many animal groups as possible, and with the bonobo enclosure having a canopy, they can be out at night,” Richart said, grinning. “They can see the stars. They’ve never been able to see the stars before.”
Wild animals have been kept in captivity for thousands of years for public display. The majority of zoos served simply to display animals. However, over time their mission has changed to focus on maintaining wildlife. It is now a complex operation, with specialists to ensure the health and wellbeing of the animals.
With artistic freedom came a practicality of utilizing galvanizing for the majority of this project. The tropical tree itself is not coated in zinc but the stairways that line the inside were all galvanized for years of protection. A calming duplex coating was applied to all of the aerial trails for increased protection against the elements and animals. This renovation included “Think Tanks,” where gorillas can interact with researchers using screens and tools for enrichment. In the animal think tanks, the total enclosure is galvanized to prevent any degradation of the functional steel that could harm the animals. Touch screens have been added for increased mental stimulation for the animals. Hot dip galvanizing and duplex coating were installed in gorilla exhibits with water features, a gorilla day room, new bonobo exhibits and buildings, a buttress tree climbing and behavioral learning exhibit, and an overhead trail system. The hot-dip galvanizing process allows for easy cleanup with soap and water to remove dirt and grime from the wild animals. With hot-dip galvanizing, even if the cages and doors were neglected for weeks, months, or years, continual protection of the structure will remain constant. Play structures, climbing posts, access doors, and large viewing windows need to be protected from harsh weather to ensure the enrichment of all animals and visitors.
The previous 20 year old exhibit that exhibited chipping and peeling, rust, and deterioration of steel was only specified for paint. Hot dip galvanized steel was sought for the design of this project to guarantee longevity. Duplex coating was promoted to blend steel structures into natural habitats.
Jacksonville, FL United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Ease of Specifying, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Prior HDG Experience, Quality of HDG, Sustainability, Turnaround Time
The components that were galvanized include the aerial trails, support poles, animal enclosures, gorilla "think tanks", access doors, cages, grating, stairways, handrails
AZZ Galvanizing - Hamilton
Thank you! Your vote has been accepted.