Humans aren't the only creatures whose homes benefit from the installation of radiant heat. Whether our cats are curling up next to the warm fire or our pups are napping in streaks of sunlight that permeate through the windows, animals are equally as interested in staying in warm climates as their owners.
But the spoils of radiant heat aren't limited to domestic pets, as more zoo operators have started installing the heating system within their borders. Unlike home builders, zoo owners are responsible for the care and maintenance of several species of animals, meaning they must consider the needs of dozens - if not hundreds - of life forms when planning the perfect habitats. For this reason, several animal encampments have begun to install radiant heat so that animals have access to the most comfortable homes possible.
Denver Zoo installs system to prevent ice and snow buildup
In an attempt to craft an environment that is not only sustainable, but also healthy and livable for residents, the Denver Zoo recently purchased a radiant heating system to employ throughout the Asian Tropics complex, according to Rehau. The area encompasses more than 10 acres and houses a number of species, including leopards, otters and elephants. Not only does radiant heat line cages and provide optimal heating temperatures for the numerous animals housed within, but it also prevents ice and snow from bombarding the area, meaning that animals are less likely to suffer health detriments related to cold temperatures and icy conditions.
Additionally, the Denver Zoo Asian Tropics exhibit sought LEED certification when it was being built, according to a release from the zoo. The area uses recycled water and natural lighting, and it employed sustainable building practices during its construction. The release added that the area is the greenest zoo exhibit in North America, thanks to its heavy emphasis on eco-friendly design and sustainable practices.
Michigan zoo seeks ways to keep animals warm in the winter
Animals that live in Michigan's Binder Park Zoo Wild Africa exhibit were kept mostly indoors throughout the winter due to the harsh conditions, but the animals did not complain. They were housed in The Savannah Barn during these months, which is a large indoor arena equipped with radiant heat flooring that kept temperatures warm all winter, according to MLive. Animals, which include zebras, giraffes, cheetahs and primates, are all relocated to these warmer buildings so they do not have to suffer through unbearably cold weather, which, according to director of wildlife Jenny Barnett, consists of any temperature below 40 degrees.
Penguins in Seattle prefer warming system
The Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle installed radiant heat in its Humboldt penguins exhibit, according to Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine. Penguins in the exhibit require water pools that remain consistent between 50 to 60 degrees throughout the year, the source explained. Because of this, zookeepers sought a solution that could warm the area during the winter and keep it cool during the summer. Designers chose a radiant heat system to keep the water warm and installed additional radiant heat capabilities in the cliffs that line the walls to provide warm spaces for the penguins to convene.