Arctic Shores, the Valley Zoo’s newest shoreline habitat, opened in spring 2012. It includes a visitor area, indoor and outdoor pools with a beach, a food prep area, and a presentation and interpretive media area. Outside, northern landscapes such as pingo (a mound of earth-covered ice found in the Arctic and subarctic) evoke the feel of a true Arctic shore, complete with cobbled beaches, eroded and ice-scoured earth banks, and Arctic foxes scampering along the beach. As the new home for the zoo’s seals and sea lion, Arctic Shores is a welcome upgrade to the city zoo.
The Life Support Building houses a state-of-the-art filtration system designed to minimize energy by utilizing wetland treatment systems. Pool water is filtered naturally by plant materials within a working salt water marsh, serving as a natural water treatment facility. A total of 229,000 gallons of water is circulated and filtered every 90 minutes.
PCL was tasked with integrating design-build components within a stipulated lump-sum contract. Working within this schedule, PCL provided comprehensive services and moved the project forward in a timely fashion, even though the majority of the project was exterior exhibitory and was limited to summer construction. Approximately 35% of the contract volume was subcontracted to non-local specialty contractors, from Florida to Denver to Japan to Quebec and Arizona. This, combined with the non-local specialist consultant teams, was a logistic challenge from time to time, but the flexibility of the all parties enabled PCL to deliver a quality project.