• Photo courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.

Elephant Lands, Oregon Zoo

Portland, OR

Project Categories

Civic + cultural

Business Type

New elephant habitat


33,000 square feet

The new Elephant Lands increases the original habitat to nearly one-tenth the entire zoo's footprint. At that size, PAE's energy-efficient heating and cooling systems provide cost savings for the whole zoo, as well as healthier habitats for the elephants themselves.



  • LEED Gold

Progress Report

Pursuing 60% energy efficiency
Pursuing 40% carbon emission reduction

Special features

  • A highly efficient heating system which includes heat recovery and a new horizontal geothermal plant, resulting in a 95% reduction in the building heating load.
  • A solar thermal system will meet 80% of the building’s hot-water needs in summer months.
  • 20kW PV array offers a reduction in energy costs.
  • Extensive daylighting and mixed-mode natural ventilation provides a healthy, well-ventilated space for the elephants.

Blog Coverage

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