"Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it."     Psalm 127:1


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The International Orangutan Center (IOC) at the Indianapolis Zoo is a $21.5 million state-of-the-art facility designed to meet the needs of two groups with very different needs:  the eight endangered primates who will live together inside the exhibit and the thousands of zoo visitors who will watch and learn - and hopefully come to care - about these orangutans who are disappearing from the wild.

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In one hundred years, the orangutan population has changed from 230,000 to the present estimate of 49,000 individuals worldwide.  These highly intelligent primates are rapidly swinging toward extinction.  As the tropical rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo disappear, so will the orangutans.

The IOC has been designed to showcase the unique qualities of these apes in an effort to educate and engage the public in the orangutans' struggle for survival.  The Beacon of Hope is symbolic of that effort
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Silver Creek Engineering provided the site design for the new orangutan exhibit.  Site services included the design of drainage, storm water quality, erosion control, water distribution, sanitary sewer, and onsite utilities.  The site features rain gardens, a cistern system for irrigation, and a storm water lift station.  In addition to providing these site services, we faced some unique challenges in creating an "orangutan-proof" environment.  This included designing storm inlets bolted to the concrete and welded to the frames to prevent the orangutans from removing them.



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The IOC will not be a difficult exhibit to locate within the zoo -- or within the city of Indianapolis, for that matter.  Its 150-foot tall Beacon of Hope will be illuminated at night and the 90-foot tall atrium will offer visitors both indoor and outdoor viewing experiences.  The Hutan Trail is a system of cables and bridges above the zoo that mimics an orangutan highway through the forest.  The orangutans will use it to travel to different locations throughout the zoo.  For the visitors, an aerial cable ride that provides a unique view of the orangutans is planned.  The IOC is scheduled to open in May of 2014.


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The Atrium, The Beacon of Hope, and The Hutan Trail under construction