Project Highlight: Unique Roof Project – Providing Shade for Sea Lions

Did you know seals and sea lions in captivity tend to have more eye problems than other zoo animals?

It’s believed to be caused by their prolonged exposure to sunlight and from the light reflecting off the water in their zoo habitats.

Well, at Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa, zookeepers wanted to do something to provide the sea lions with some respite from the sun. Their idea was to build two shade canopies in the exhibit.

Due to the harsh Iowa weather, the project’s architect determined metal panels would provide the best protection and stood the best chance at withstanding the extreme weather conditions. (Many zoos across the country use fabric shading, but they knew that wouldn’t hold up to the Iowa snow and wind.)

The canopies feature Garland’s R-Mer Span structural standing seam metal panels. They provide the industry’s highest wind uplift rating and were engineered to withstand 40 lbs. per square foot of snow.

With the addition of the shade canopies and plans for four more, the zoo now has the opportunity to rescue more seals and sea lions, providing them with a safe and healthy life in captivity.

More details on the project here!