Dunbar served as both the Life Support Systems Prime Contractor and the Structural Steel Prime Contractor for the complete renovation of the Works Progress Administration-era Aquarium building at The Toledo Zoo. Our work in adding reinforcing steel throughout the facility was key for the building’s long-term integrity but the extensive, varied and critical mechanical systems ensuring the lives of rare and exotic marine species was an historical highlight for our firm.

Dunbar’s work on the Aquarium renovation began by competitively bidding and winning two separate contracts on the project. Under the plan & spec contracts, firms are required to perform ONLY those items included in the documents. Dunbar, however, believes in serving our client’s needs, not simply providing only what’s on the drawings, so we worked with the Toledo Zoo on a Design/Assist basis and:

• Invested beyond the scope of work in an existing conditions laser survey scan to accurately measure and plot the circa 1930 structure.

• Identified areas of concern where plans did not accurately account for required piping, pumps and filtration equipment.

• Worked closely with engineers and zoo curators to provide solutions to best utilize space and ensure system integrity.

• Drew all systems and piping structures in 3D, with CAD and BIM illustrations for review before fabrication.

• Provided the highest quality piping, and equipment installation possible to ensure 3,500+ priceless fish and invertebrates continue to thrive.

What did our client think about all this?
Dunbar has the right mindset and the right processes. You all have the best interest of the owner at heart. Your philosophy of working together is really good and it’s real. You do what you say you will do. ~ Director of Facilities & Planning Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

Check out Dunbar’s Life Support Systems infographic: