Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin
“William C. Weinaug Jr., P.E., vice president, exp U.S. Services Inc., Maitland, Fla., receives first place in the existing industry facilities or processes category for the Antarctica Empire of the Penguin animal exhibit and ride attraction, Orlando, Fla. The facility is owned by Sea World Parks and Entertainment Inc.
The building includes a 6,000 square foot immersive dark ride and penguin exhibit in a 30,000 square foot space, including spaces for bird holding, brooding and life support systems. The project included a major expansion and renovation to an existing penguin encounter, with a portion of the original space, animal pools and life support spaces reused to save costs.
When creating a 32°F space in hot and humid Orlando, the efficiency of the systems and envelope is crucial. The facility is designed to minimize energy use while providing a habitat for penguins to thrive.
Another important factor in design is indoor air quality for both penguins and guests. In regard to thermal comfort, the criteria were driven by birds comfort instead of humans. Human comfort was measured by how well odors were controlled, particularly guest perception of the natural odor of penguin guano. Designers also had to protect the birds from mold and fungi not common to their native environment.
The facility contains many innovative systems, such as use of condenser water for heating and defrosting of iced coils. To ensure proper envelope was maintained while allowing thousands of people to flow through the building, sally ports and quick acting doors were added to keep cold in and moisture out. For the queue, ride and exhibit spaces; control and concern focused on dew point. Self-contained liquid desiccant air conditioning units were used to control the space dew point by creating cold and dry air as efficiently as possible.”