• Toyota Elephant Passage
  • Toyota Elephant Passage
  • Toyota Elephant Passage
  • Denver Zoo

    Denver, Colorado

    The new Toyota Elephant Passage at the Denver Zoo is the most significant new exhibit in the institution’s 115-year history. The new $50-million, eight-building exhibit provides 88,000 square feet of interactive outdoor habitat on a 10-acre campus. Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, and Malayan tapirs rotate among six large habitats to offer the animals varied terrain. Gibbons, clouded leopards, fishing cats, flying foxes, and otters are also featured within this next-generation exhibit. Toyota Elephant Passage is the first zoo exhibit in the United States to earn LEED Platinum certification—the highest attainable LEED certification level. To earn that designation, the design team had to implement numerous sustainable technologies and strategies including:
    • Sophisticated lighting/daylighting control system to optimize the amount of healthy natural light brought into building spaces while limiting the use of energy-consuming electric lighting
    • Direct evaporative cooling taking advantage of Denver’s dry climate to provide low-energy-use cooling and to deliver plenty of fresh air into enclosed animal areas
    • Energy recovery ventilators to reclaim energy that would normally be expelled to the atmosphere
    • Radiant floor heating to provide a comfortable environment for the animals, while requiring less energy and maintenance than conventional heating systems
    • City-provided “greywater” for cleaning, irrigation, ponds, and water closets
    • State-of-the-art water filtration system to recycle most of the 1.1 million gallons of water running through the exhibit
    • On-site biomass cogeneration plant utilizing solid waste from the zoo’s many animals, discarded food and paper products, and landscape trimmings as a fuel source to produce both power and heat (The plant is anticipated to convert 1.5 million pounds of solid waste a year, thereby helping the zoo save $150,000 a year in energy and waste-hauling costs and bringing the zoo much closer to its goal of becoming a “zero-waste” facility.)
 

Toyota Elephant Passage

Denver Zoo

Denver, Colorado

The new Toyota Elephant Passage at the Denver Zoo is the most significant new exhibit in the institution’s 115-year history. The new $50-million, eight-building exhibit provides 88,000 square feet of interactive outdoor habitat on a 10-acre campus. Asian elephants, Indian rhinos, and Malayan tapirs rotate among six large habitats to offer the animals varied terrain. Gibbons, clouded leopards, fishing cats, flying foxes, and otters are also featured within this next-generation exhibit.

Toyota Elephant Passage is the first zoo exhibit in the United States to earn LEED Platinum certification—the highest attainable LEED certification level. To earn that designation, the design team had to implement numerous sustainable technologies and strategies including:

  • Sophisticated lighting/daylighting control system to optimize the amount of healthy natural light brought into building spaces while limiting the use of energy-consuming electric lighting
  • Direct evaporative cooling taking advantage of Denver’s dry climate to provide low-energy-use cooling and to deliver plenty of fresh air into enclosed animal areas
  • Energy recovery ventilators to reclaim energy that would normally be expelled to the atmosphere
  • Radiant floor heating to provide a comfortable environment for the animals, while requiring less energy and maintenance than conventional heating systems
  • City-provided “greywater” for cleaning, irrigation, ponds, and water closets
  • State-of-the-art water filtration system to recycle most of the 1.1 million gallons of water running through the exhibit
  • On-site biomass cogeneration plant utilizing solid waste from the zoo’s many animals, discarded food and paper products, and landscape trimmings as a fuel source to produce both power and heat (The plant is anticipated to convert 1.5 million pounds of solid waste a year, thereby helping the zoo save $150,000 a year in energy and waste-hauling costs and bringing the zoo much closer to its goal of becoming a “zero-waste” facility.)

Awards

  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado, Engineering Excellence Awards Competition, Grand Conceptor Award (2013)
  • ASHRAE Technology Award, First Place, Rocky Mountain Chapter and Region IX in the New Public Assembly Building Category (2013)
  • Engineering News-Record/ENR Mountain States, Best 2012 Projects, Best Sports/Entertainment Project and Special Judges’ Recognition as One of Three Best Overall Regional Project Finalists. Learn more about the award. (2012)

Certifications

Certified LEED-NC Platinum (first LEED Platinum zoo exhibit in the U.S.)

Video Link

See an ACEC/CO-developed YouTube video on Toyota Elephant Passage, which further illustrates RMH's involvement with this ground-breaking project.