Daylight for Dragons

Woodland Park Zoo

Solatube Distributor: Lumenomics

Architect: Dennis Poon


There are over 3,000 lizard species, but the Komodo dragon wins the prize for being the largest living lizard in the world! The endangered species, which can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh more than 175 pounds, can be seen when visiting the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington.


And while many people think of Komodo dragons as large, fearsome creatures with venomous bacteria-filled saliva, sharp claws, and tough scales, Komodo dragons actually have a more sensitive side, especially when it comes to their sunbathing needs. As cold-blooded animals native to Indonesia, Komodo dragons thrive in extremely hot and humid climates.


Ready for an upgrade

To increase exhibit sustainability and ensure their Komodo dragons were receiving the best possible care, the Woodland Park Zoo decided to retrofit their decades-old exhibit. The exhibit enclosure, which had been covered by a glass roof, would be replaced with a solid roof that would better seal in the heat and humidity the Komodo dragons needed. Unfortunately, this new roof would eliminate all the natural light in the exhibit that the Komodo dragons needed to thrive.


The Solatube Solution

Just like humans, animals benefit from natural light too! The design team used 13 Solatube SkyVault M74 Tubular Daylighting Devices to bring natural light deep into the space. By combining breakthrough optics with progressive engineering, the SkyVault Series delivers massive amounts of full-spectrum daylight to maintain the vivid, true colors of the enclosures with unmatched thermal performance – keeping the Komodo dragon climate conditions sealed in tight – and the external weather out.


Out of Sight

Additionally, the Zoo intended to hide all the lighting fixtures from guests’ view in the observation areas. With customizable systems, the Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices were fit to the desired size and direction and were successfully hidden away from sight. With the consistent daylight provided by the Solatube SkyVault Series, the Woodland Park Zoo will be able to provide the best care and environment for their Komodo dragons, increase exhibit sustainability and enhance the overall visitor experience.



Images: Courtesy of Lumenomics


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