Kaeng Krachan, Elephant Park – Zoo Zurich

The Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park at Zoo Zurich is an extra-large construction project. The big curved roof of the elephant house is particularly eye-catching. Its construction required millimetric precision.

Great emphasis was placed on sustainability during the construction of the compound. The main building material was wood. Heating is provided via a district heating network using the central woodchip heating system at Zoo Zurich. Rainwater is collected from the roof, which measures 6,800 square metres. The water is then used for watering the ground, for moistening the sand, for removing dust from the plants and supplying the pool maintenance equipment.

Screws were used in the remaining construction process as well as lager amounts of wood and more nails. Approximately 500,000 screws of 15 to 85 centimetres each were needed. Once completed, the roof is around 90 centimetres thick and weighs around 1,000 tonnes.

Surface areas and cubage

Surface area of building: 5,400 m2
Volume of building: 56,000m3
Surface area of enclosure: 2,600 m2
Total earth moved: 45,000 m3
Sand: 4,800 m3
Deadwood trees, between 8 and 14 metres high: 60
Roof area (including roof edge): 6,800 m2
Nails for 3-layer panels: 500,000
Number of Skylights: 271
Tension cables: 9, total length of 837 metres
Water content of indoor pools: 239 m3
Water content of outdoor pools: 615 m3

Text/data: Press release Zoo Zurich, May 2014

The Elephants at Zoo Zurich

Name gender Birth date Origin at Zurich since weight *
Maxi m 1969/1970  Thailand 15th September 1981 5150 kg
Thai  m  1994 Germany 12th August 2014 2980 kg
Druk  f  1967  Bhutan  24th June 1968 3550 kg
Indi  f 1986  Burma   8th October 1999 3120 kg
Ceyla-Himali  f  1975 Sri Lanka 24th March 1976 3600 kg
Chandra  f  13th May 2002 Zurich 2725 kg
Farha  f  23rd May 2005  Zurich 2615 kg
Omysha  f 17th June 2014  Zurich 355 kg

* weight data: January 2015