Henry Doorly Zoo Lied Jungle

Omaha, Nebraska


Major Program Spaces

  • 1.5 acre (60,000 square feet) ecosystem displays 3,000 plant and 125 animal species
  • 12 waterfalls and 11 ponds (750,000 gallons per hour)
  • Animal holding areas and support spaces (30,000-square-foot lower level)
  • 350-seat restaurant
  • Basement banquet facility (accommodates 200 people)

Original in concept, size and complexity, this 1.5-acre rain forest ecosystem demanded two years of intensive research by the Alvine Aquatics team and involved visits to several zoo facilities, each with exhibits which informed a small portion of this project.

Simulating a rain forest was a test of both man’s knowledge of his environment, and the reliability of proven engineering designs, techniques and principles. From the use of engineering concepts to selection of components, innovative solutions were required for problems not previously faced in MEP systems design.

Survival of the Jungle’s rare plants and animals directly depends on the efficient and reliable operation of the facility’s mechanical and electrical systems. Water temperatures need to be maintained at 75° F to 80° F, and air temperatures need to be kept between the high of 85° F and a winter low of 65° F, with relative humidity requirements of 80-85%.

Fogging systems within jungle “trees” use deionized water and “mist” to increase humidity levels and promote plant growth.

An award-winning project:

  • Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), National Competition
  • Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), Eastern Chapter
  • Engineering Excellence Grand Award, American Consulting Engineers Council, Nebraska Chapter (ACEC/N)