Sep 07, 2016

Clay Pavers Cover Chicago Zoo

The challenges in a recent renovation to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo centered on both its location and its history.

Founded in 1868, the zoo is one of the few institutions of its kind that does not charge admission and has long been a tradition in America’s Second City.

The Lincoln Park Zoo underwent a recent facelift, with visitors arriving at the west entrance greeted by a new hardscape of StormPave permeable clay pavers by Pine Hall Brick Co. The installation won a Silver Award in the Paving/Landscaping category in the 2015 Brick In Architecture competition held by the Brick Industry Assn., a national trade group.

Just beyond the entry are the Regenstein Macaque Forest and Lionel Train Adventure, one of the newest—and at a cost of $15.5 million, one of the most ambitious—exhibits in the zoo’s history.

Since the 1970s, the zoo has redesigned its surroundings into naturalistic settings. Clay pavers now are used as edge banding on main walkways throughout the 35-acre site, and clay paver plazas draw attention to special exhibits, such as the Macaque Forest.

Because of the location, permeable clay pavers were specified. City ordinances call for storm water to be treated on site on larger projects. Pavers were an alternative to installing underground water tanks, which was cost-prohibitive.

In addition, these pavers perform well in snowy climates because water goes through the paver field into layers of aggregate underneath, and does not pool on the surface and become ice. Snowfall on these pavers can be dealt with by using a magnesium chloride de-icer and a rubber-tipped shovel or plow.

The pavers also are able to withstand heavy vehicles, are aesthetically pleasing and fit well with existing buildings.

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