Zoo Habitat Fabrication

COST of Wisconsin, Inc. has been a full-service zoological exhibit contractor for six decades. Zoo habitat fabrication is one of our specialties and where we got our start.

Thanks to years of experience, we understand that zoos aim to spark visitors’ imaginations while providing enrichment and safety for animals. We also know that safety is critical, and all of our exhibit fabrication is carried out with strict standards and oversight.

Award-Winning Zoo Habitat Construction

In 1957, COST was hired by the Milwaukee County Zoo to create a truly unique zoological experience—an immersive alternative to the standard “cage” exhibits of the past. This natural habitat was a revolutionary project for our local zoo that helped perpetuate the exhibits found in zoological parks and gardens throughout the United States today.

Since then, COST fabricated exhibits for over half the U.S. zoos and aquariums and several international clients. Many of our zoo exhibit projects have received awards, and we’ve become the standard-bearer in the zoon fabrication space.

As a fifty-year member of AZA—the Association of Zoos & Aquariums—and an industry leader, we know how to meet the unique challenges that can arise in custom and one-of-a-kind projects. We’re well-versed in coming up with innovative solutions that are both beautiful and functional. Animals do best in natural settings, and our artisans have the skills to create realistic spaces.

Our team works diligently to create aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, durable, and animal-safe zoo habitats and animal exhibits. Our highly qualified artisans and zoological park construction personnel use conventional materials to produce and enhance the new exhibits and assist with each zoo project. 

But aesthetics are only half of the equation. Our entire COST team deeply respects the animals that live within the exhibits and habitats we develop. We make a great effort during every phase, from pre-construction through final construction, to ensure we build the safest new habitat possible. Often we receive guidance and feedback from stakeholders like structural engineers, habitat specialists, and animal behavior specialists. There are many experts involved in creating environments that support the natural behaviors of wild animals. 

These modern, immersive environments engage and enrich the animals’ lives. They offer a safe and secure way for zoo staff to care for the animals. A realistic habitat display is also crucial for visitor experience. They’re a great way to engage zoo patrons, spark their interest, and showcase the wonder of nature. Exhibit spaces draw in the patrons, helping them better understand the natural world and endangered species and the challenges of preservation and conservation.

Getting Zoo Exhibits Right

Zoo habitat and construction require a careful process. At COST, we begin each zoo construction project with scaled models based on specifications provided by architectural drawings. The models are invaluable to our work, helping us properly execute the approval and construction process. They bring the plans to life—giving a tangible representation of what the final exhibit will look like.

Our wide-ranging experience includes working with many materials, including shotcrete, GFRC, FRP, urethanes, epoxies, woods, and acrylics. This familiarity with materials allows our artisans to recreate any natural environment for the most realistic-looking animal habitats that showcase the beauty and wonder of nature.

Within zoo exhibits, we may use a vast range of different effects and features. Exhibitions can include different earth bank textures, rock work, water features, coral inserts, and even faux trees and foliage. To further capture the realism, our habitat creators may add natural resources such as stone as well as crustaceans, invertebrates, mineral deposits, lichens, and various topical aging enhancements. These touches create the appearance of an undisturbed, timeless, and truly authentic finished product.

If you’re looking for zoo habitat fabrication, reach out to our team today. We work with zoos, aquariums, theme parks, museums, and other animal exhibitors to create beautiful, safe, and stimulating environments for all. Let us help you fabricate a fantastic zoo experience.