Blank Park Zoo Water Interpretive Center

Des Moines, Iowa

Blank Park Water Interpretive CenterAlvine Aquatics provided design services through design development for the mechanical, electrical and life support systems for this 22,000-square-foot 2-level facility.

Animals featured in the facility include red pandas, tamarins, butterflies, bats, lizards, insects, birds and various tropical and fresh water fish.

Major Program Spaces

  • Facility exhibits four major climatic habitats (alpine, temperate, tropical and subtropical)
  • Fresh and salt water exhibits totaling 30,000 gallons
  • Waterfalls, ponds and streams
  • Interpretive center
  • Mangrove display and bats exhibit on lower level
  • Reef exhibit (16,000 gallons)
  • Meeting rooms that overlook the tropical environment
  • Serving kitchen
  • Animal holding areas

Water Treatment Systems

  • Piping and pumping systems
  • Sand filtration
  • Water temperature control
  • Foam fractionation for reduction of micro-particulates
  • Ultraviolet disinfection for algae control
  • Reverse osmosis water for plants and makeup water

Mechanical Systems

  • Display area air handling capacity is160,000 cfm, with 4 air changes per hour, with the capability to go to 8 air changes
  • Six 1,750-MBh gas-fired boilers
  • Fiberglass-panel roof construction allows 85% sunlight to maintain the critical temperature and light levels
  • Extensive water recirculation system to conserve natural resources
  • Lower level animal areas required
  • Air handling at 40,000 cfm / 10 air changes per hour