Posted in Elephant House, Zoo building, Materials
1. It goes almost without saying: Make the structure robust! Elephant loading is difficult to assess, and repair works are difficult to carry out because of the occupants. So use solid, imperishable materials.
2. Consider the building’s different flows of water carefully. Elephant keeping takes a lot of water for:
- watering the elephants (a big male can drink 100 l per day)
- washing them
- cleaning the building
- keeping the air’s moisture content high to protect the elephants’ skin
- provide water features to encourage the elephants’ natural grooming instincts
Make sure that any excess water can be drained to storage for cleaning/recycling or disposed of.
3. Make sure that technical plant equipment do not emit noise at low frequencies which may interfere with the elephants’ communication
4. When providing dust or sand floors for the elephants (which will be good for the elephants feet and provide them with natural sleeping quarters) consider how the sand can be cleaned and eventually replaced.
5. Glass and elephants are a difficult match. If a glazed window is within reach then consider to use polycarbonate or acrylic instead or add anti-vandal film to the glass – a pointy tusk on a fellow with all the time in the world for scratching is hard on any glass be it heat strengthened or toughened.
6. It’s difficult to establish an engineering design basis for the design of an elephant house. Get in contact with someone with previous experience from such work. Most likely they will be happy to share their knowledge with you!