Hippo Cove at Cincinnati Zoo

Hippo Cove at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Client: Zoological Society of Cincinnati

Services: Construction Review, Geotechnical, Special Inspections


Geotechnology, Inc.* provided geotechnical, construction review and special inspection services for the Cincinnati Zoo’s Africa Exhibit from planning through construction.

Cincinnati Zoo Project Background

HGC Construction and ME Companies provided the recommendations for the underground detention basin and foundation support for the structures. Geotechnology continued providing services for the latest phases of the exhibit, including the new Savannah Yard, Lion and Cheetah Encounter exhibits and Giraffe Deck Expansion. We also serviced the renovated Base Camp Cafe – certified as the greenest restaurant in the world. The Africa exhibit has achieved LEED Gold certification.

Hippo Cove is the final stage of the Africa Exhibit and encompasses a 70,000-gallon pool with a 60-foot glass viewing area. There is a 6,000 square foot water infiltration system that works to keep the exhibit clean and ozone levels stable. The building which houses this state-of-the-art system is 3,600 square feet, larger than the hippo pool and yard combined. Additionally, two Nile hippos inhabit the space at Hippo Cove.

Geotechnology has performed geotechnical explorations and construction review special inspection services for over 75 projects at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden since 1974.

*Services prior to 2015 performed by Thelen Associates, Inc.