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Switzerland

Zurich Zoo Elephant House

Overview

Project description

Zurich city’s zoo has constructed a new park for its elephants, which opened in 2014. The 10,000 m2 park includes a large housing unit consisting primarily of a wooden roof shell – the largest self-supporting wooden roof structure in Switzerland. A hot, humid environment will be ­maintained inside the structure, as prevailing in the natural habitat of the Indian elephant, whereas the outside shell needs to withstand the seasonally changing weather conditions of Switzerland.

Due to the roof’s unusual design in terms of size, shape, and construction material, and the high humidity of the air ­underneath, it was decided to install a permanent automated monitoring system to provide continuous ­monitoring of the roof structure’s anchorages and moisture ­levels.

Delivered products

mageba developed a monitoring plan for this demanding task. 24 humidity sensors, distributed over the entire roof surface, measure the moisture content of the roof’s timber, and the anchor forces arising in the roof’s foundations are also measured. The effect of humidity is correlated to the structure in terms of stress, creep, shrinkage and other deformations, with possible thrust/traction in the anchorage area.

The measured values are displayed in real time on the system’s web interface. The system also includes an alarm feature, offering automatic notification of exceeding of pre-defined limits in any parameters.

More information

Key data

Products:

ROBO-CONTROL permanent SHM system

Features:

Anchorage force sensors, air and structural temperature and humidity sensors

Installation:

2013

City:

Zurich

Structure:

Wooden pavilion

Span:

110m

Owner:

Zurich Zoo

Architect:

Markus Schietsch

Engineer

Walt & Galmarini