The stunning animal habitats at Discovery Cove® create opportunities for guests to have one-of-a-kind, close encounters with a diverse range of aquatic animals while enjoying a sunny, all-inclusive resort experience. Freshwater Oasis® expands on the unique habitats of Discovery Cove® with a freshwater attraction, replacing an existing saltwater swim reef.

When replacing the existing reef with the freshwater experience, PCL worked to improve the existing pool while preserving existing elements where possible to make the best use of the client’s budget. To deepen the existing pool shell, PCL sourced and installed a ballast material in the original shell that would offset the upward buoyancy pressures exerted by the high groundwater table. The new pool utilized the entire existing Life Support Systems (LSS) by capping lines and extending others to new locations. Without accurate as-builts for the existing pool, the PCL team spent countless hours during demolition to compare and evaluate the existing piping in the field to the design documents. Through careful coordination with the LSS designer, PCL ensured the design criteria were met while utilizing the existing system to enhance the project value for the client.

PCL’s scope of work included themed elements to resemble a flooded forest with mud bank walls and a limestone sinkhole. We constructed two animal exhibits within the new pool: an Asian small clawed otter exhibit and a marmoset exhibit is located on an island in the center of the pool. PCL self-performed the structural concrete and carpentry for the project.

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