Sloth Bear Holding Facility, Asia Trail - Smithsonian National Zoo
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Finished green roof with plants newly planted, Sloth Bear Holding Building, August 2006.  Photo credit: Gordon Beall.Project Name: Sloth Bear Holding Facility, Asia Trail - Smithsonian National Zoo
Year: 2006
Owner: The Smithsonian National Zoo
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Custom
Size: 6500 sq.ft.
Slope: 15%
Access: Inaccessible, Private
Submitted by: John Shepley & Jonathan Penndorf

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Plant Supplier: Green Roof Plants
Senior Associate: Stuart Billings, AIA, Chatelain Architects, p.c.
Project Architect: Jonathan Penndorf, AIA, Chatelain Architects, p.c.
Landscape Architect: Mary Wolf, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
Landscape Architect: Warren Byrd, Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects
Structural Engineer: Doug Bond, McMullan and Associates
Waterproofing: The Henry Company
Growing Media: Stalite
South facade of the Sloth Bear Holding Building, August 2006.  Photo credit: Gordon Beall.Hana, mother sloth bear; Photo Source: The Smithsonian National Zoo websiteDetail of completed green roof at Sloth Bear Holding Building, August 2006.  Photo credit: Gordon Beall.
The National Zoological Park includes conservation of the natural environment as part of its mission statement, so it is fitting that new animal holding facilities in the Asia Trail complex be topped with green roofs. Three facilities are completely covered by green roof systems on Asia Trail: the Sloth Bear Holding Building, the Otter Holding Building, and the Bamboo Storage Shed.

The green roofs were included for form and aesthetic. They help to reduce stormwater runoff on the sloped site and add valuable insulation to the buildings. They also help to "camouflage" the buildings so the visitors do not notice them as much when walking the Asia Trail. Asia Trail won the 2006 Presidential Citation for Sustainable Design from the DC Chapter of the American Insitute of Architects. Other sustainable design features include: Solar Hot Water Systems, Naturing Paving Material, Maximizing Daylight, Ipe Wood, Bamboo, Reused, Recycled, and Greener Materials, Energy Star, and Natural Insulation.
Merlin, the adult male sloth bear; Photo Source: The Smithsonian National Zoo websiteCub Bala, in May, 2006; Photo Source: The Smithsonian National Zoo website
The green roof assemblies were designed primarily by the architect (for the roofing system) and the landscape architect (growing medium and plants). The roofing materials installed including Henry roofing products (Henry hot-applied roofing membrane 890-11 and DBR Root Block water retention/root barrier). Atop the hot-applied membrane, 4" of rigid insulation was installed, then the water retention mat/root barrier, and then the growing medium. Approximately 4" (100 mm) of planting medium was used for the Sloth Bear Holding Building. Sta-Lite planting medium was specified and approved for use. A mixture of sedums, herbs, and flowers were selected for planting.

Native to the Indian sub-continent, sloth bears are fascinating, unusual bears that charm and delight those who visit them. The Asia Trail has two new outdoor yards which is home to the Zoo's three sloth bears. Balawat, a male cub, was born on January 9, 2006. He and his mother, Hana, can be seen in one yard. His father, Merlin, can be seen in the other yard. Did you know that you can Adopt a Sloth Bear?

Additional thumbnail photos:

Detail view of the west view of the Sloth Bear Holding Building 2006; Credit: Gordon BeallThe Asia Trail; Source: The Smithsonian National Zoo websiteInstallation of insulation over membrane, Sloth Bear Holding Building.  2005.  Photo credit: Jon Penndorf.Growing medium placed on roof assembly, Sloth Bear Holding Building. 2005.  Photo credit: Jon Penndorf.Planting sedums and flowers on the Sloth Bear Holding Building roof, 2006.  Photo credit: Jon Penndorf.
For more informaton regarding the the Smithsonian National Zoo, please visit their website. Read about Emory Knoll Farms in The Greenroof Directory here. Contact information for design team: Jonathan Penndorf, AIA, LEED AP, Chatelain Architects, p.c., 3516 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20008; 202.244.0243; jpenndorf@chatelainarchitects.com
 
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