Zoological education Centre

Zoological education centre

ATL complete work on a new zoological education centre in Bedfordshire

In late 2018 the ATL team secured the contract to provide its specialist services to the new zoological education centre at Shuttleworth College, Bedfordshire. The ambitious project to build a new zoological education centre will see Shuttleworth College bring the Amazon and the Outback to the campus. The education centre staff have worked tirelessly alongside the zoological society of London (ZSL) to develop an environment where animal welfare is paramount. The zoological education centre (ZEC) is built within a specifically designed biome and will house tropical creatures and plants from across the world and be a first for a further education college

ATL are considered as being leaders in aquarium technology but could also demonstrate a proven track record in building successful zoo exhibits around the world. Our team were appointed on a turnkey basis to bring together the specialist waterproofing, submerged glazing and life support system work scopes on the Mississippi alligators enclosure.

In the spring of this year our team arrived on site to prepare for the application of the composite waterproofing system to the alligator pool in the zoological education centre.

zoological education centre

ATL waterproofing in progress

As well as the pool itself the behind scenes keeper areas were also fully waterproofed using the same system. This provided the ZEC team with a very versatile, hard wearing, easy clean, low maintenance coating that will provide many years of trouble free service.

Zoological education centre

Keeper access also lined by ATL


Zoological education centre

Keeper zones and back of house were treated with ATL waterproofing

Zoological education centre

Back of house keeper areas at ZEC

The ZEC’s Mississippi alligator pool is equipped with 2 large glass viewing panels. Each of the viewing panels are made from multiple layers of heat soak toughened and laminated glass to ATL’s ‘gator proof’ specification. Each panel was installed using specialist lifting equipment which allowed the glasses to be accurately installed once the biome roof was in place.

zoological education centre ATL

ATL glass viewing panel installation at the zoological education centre


Zoological education centre

ATL Zoological education centre viewing window install


Zoological education centre

ATL gator proof glass viewing panel being carefully installed

Once safely installed our technicians sealed the viewing panels into the rebates.

As well as the water proofing and viewing panel workscope, ATL worked closely with the M & E consultants providing practical guidance and advance design input for the incorporation of all in slab pipework including floor sumps into the concrete pool structure.

ATL sumps

In conjunction with the client team we developed a life support system around the requirements of the animals.

Zoological education centre ATL

ATL Mississippi alligator pool filtration


zoological education centre

LSS equipment for the alligator pool installation in progress

The main pool is equipped with a commercial life support system to provide the necessary filtration and disinfection treatment of the exhibit water. ATL’s plumbing team designed and installed all the required plant and equipment. On completion of the installation works the entire system was commissioned and handed over to the ZEC animal husbandry team.

Zoological education centre

ATL testing and commissioning the Mississippi alligator pool at ZEC

ATL is more widely known for their expertise in producing high quality displays and exhibits for the commercial aquarium and zoo visitor attraction markets. However this project shows the adaptability and tenacity of our teams in successfully delivering up a new type of project. The ZEC allows staff and students to immerse themselves within a 21st century learning environment and develop hands-on skills with wildlife, a very unique addition. The tropical biome, provides a unique experience for students, staff and visitors. The modern biome design allows a wide variety of species including birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals to be housed in environments that actually replicate their natural habitat.

This exciting new centre will allow students and staff to continue their strong links to conservation awareness and promote small scale research. Alongside this, sustainability is encouraged and the zoological education centre will incorporate the growing of animal feed and effective waste management systems with the vision of minimal waste provision.

ATL is really proud to have helped provide this facility which will support the next generation of practically trained staff for the zoo and attractions industry of tomorrow. For more details take a look at the zoological education centre. 

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