Zoo Atlanta Action Resource Center (ARC)
The Zoo Atlanta Conservation Action Resource Center facility is designed to display, research and broadcast information about conservation. Lord, Aeck & Sargent's design supports conservation education through program, design, technology and siting. Environmental impact was reduced through the careful selection and innovative use of materials. The ARC includes recycled Coca-Cola bottles and bamboo panels (a rapidly renewable resource) as interior finishes. The exterior of the ARC was built of recycled native Georgia granite salvaged from tombstone scrap and was clad with recycled-copper shingles.
The ARC incorporates technologically sophisticated media and spaces that illustrate, teach and broadcast information about our natural environment. The facility is built into a sloping hillside, and the surrounding earth insulates the ARC from outside temperature extremes. The roof is planted with native vegetation, which reduces the energy absorbed into the building, drastically cutting heating and cooling costs. The ARC's living roof also decreases energy reflected by the building, reducing both the urban heat island effect and stormwater runoff. The below-grade siting and the organic, fluid shape of the ARC were influenced by the broader notion of conservation and harmony with nature. The ARC stands as a technical example -- and an embodiment of -- conservation in building construction.