• 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.



Percent better energy efficiency

than code requirements


Percent better carbon emission reduction

than code requirements



  • 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
  • Extensive daylighting
  • Mixed-mode natural ventilation provides a healthy, well-ventilated space for the elephants

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