Akron Zoo Penguin Point and Legends of the Wild

Akron, Ohio

Alvine Aquatics provided the life support, mechanical and electrical systems design for two phases of a five-phase project on a 2.25-acre site at the Akron Zoo.

Conservation Canyon, the keystone of Phase 4, is a multispecies exhibit featuring the highest waterfall in Ohio, ponds, and animal holding buildings.

Penguin Point houses Humboldt penguins, an endangered warm weather species from South America. Design features include filtration and disinfection systems for multispecies exhibits as well as fogging and misting systems to provide correct humidification and to promote plant health.

Major Program Spaces

  • Penguin Point (viewing areas aboveground and under water)
  • Legends of the Wild (including Madagascar Market, lemurs, snakes and flamingo exhibits)
  • Pere David Deer exhibit
  • Tamarin exhibit
  • Ruin Yard (including llama and condors)
  • Meso American exhibit (a multispecies exhibit, including cranes, snow leopards tahr, jaguar, capybara, bats and insects)
  • 70 foot waterfall and 50,000-gallon main pond


  • Temperature and humidity controls
  • Controls for lighting system in animal cages
  • HVAC systems for exhibits, keeper spaces and offices
  • Packaged air-cooled chiller
  • Outside air ventilation
  • Rapid flow sand filtration
  • Sand filtration for recirculated water
  • uv/bromine disinfection system for pools
  • Nelson drinkers and water licks
  • Gas-fired domestic water heaters
  • Continuously tempered water for each exhibit’s specific requirements
  • Animal hot and cold rocks
  • Fully sprinkled fire protection system
  • Ducted ventilation and exhaust system
  • Exterior automatic wash-down system
  • Fogging system and watering system using reverse osmosis water and provides misting for humidity levels and to promote healthy plants
  • Plumbing and piping systems
  • Sanitary and storm sewer systems
  • Waste and vent systems
  • Emergency generator and distribution for animal life support and critical systems.
  • Lighting:  pool, exhibit, interior theme, waterfall, exterior