KidZooU Case Study

Philadelphia Zoo:
KidZooU: Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo and Faris Family Education Center

Philadelphia, PA

America’s first zoo opened on July 1, 1874 with 228 animals.  Still in its same location, this Philadelphia landmark institution delights more than 1.2 million visitors annually with a remarkable collection of over 1,300 animals, many of them rare and endangered.

But, this old zoo now has a new attraction – KidZooU – an indoor and outdoor playground for children.  A smart and adaptive re-use of the historic Paul Cret pachyderm house, former home to elephants, hippos and rhinos, is the Faris Family Education Center.  The surrounding grounds are now the Hamilton Family Children’s Zoo.  Together, the KidZooU project has earned LEED Gold Certification.

Metropolitan Acoustics was the acoustical consultant in the renovation of the pachyderm house into exhibit spaces, teaching collections, a workshop and program room.  The original space was uninsulated with concrete floors and low finishes.  For the interior room acoustics, we conducted reverberation time measurements and designed recommendations for interior finishes to meet the appropriate reverberation times in each area.

We also consulted on the mechanical system noise and vibration control.   We evaluated sound levels from the proposed mechanical systems and designed recommendations for noise and attenuation measures to meet design goals.

KidZooU, which opened in April 2013, has been the recipient of several awards including the LEED certification.

  • 2014 Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Award
  • 2014 Groundbreaker Award presented by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council
  • 2014 Top Honor Exhibit Award presented by the Association of Zoos and students.