Blank Park Zoo Water Interpretive Center

Des Moines, Iowa

Alvine 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