Henry Doorly Zoo Orangutan Building

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When the time came to construct the new orangutan building at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, zoo officials knew better than to monkey around with inferior coating systems. They knew the brand needed for the 3,126-square-foot indoor habitat: Tnemec.

“Dr. Lee Simmons (Director of Henry Doorly Zoo) knows and respects the Tnemec brand,” said Tnemec coating consultant Kevin Greteman. “He had done his research and knew that Tnemec could fill the order for the orangutan building.”Henry Doorly Zoo Orangutan Building Exterior SignHenry Doorly Zoo Orangutan Building Exterior Dome

In fact, zoo officials didn’t have to go far to witness the quality of Tnemec. Nearly every addition to the zoo spanning the past 30 years specified the use of a Tnemec coating system within the construction.

The exterior of the indoor orangutan habitat received one coat of Series 660 Prime-A-Pell 200, a solventborne siloxane water repellent which helps resist staining of concrete and is visually imperceptable when dry, followed by two coats of Series 617 Conformal Stain WB, a penetrating, water-based acrylic stain. Series 1075 Endura-Shield II, an aliphatic polyurethane, was applied to the exterior exposed metals at 2.5 to 3.5 mils DFT.

On the interior, Series 151 Elasto-Grip, a waterborne modified polyamine epoxy, was used to prime the ceiling followed by two coats of Series 158 Bio-Lastic, a waterborne acrylate specially formulated to resist mildew growth typical in such an environment. Series 158 was spray-applied at 5.5 to 7.5 mils DFT per coat.

The interior precast walls were filled with Series 216 Quickfill, a fast-curing, aggregate reinforced material for surfacing, and topcoated with two coats of Series 84 Ceramlon ENV, a ceramic-like modified aliphatic amine epoxy coating that provides excellent protection and easy cleaning.

“The coating selections for a zoo environment are very important,” noted Greteman. “The type of animals, humidity level, and all facets of the larger scale of wear and tear are considerations that must be weighed carefully.”

project information

Project Name

Henry Doorly Zoo Orangutan Building

Project Location

Omaha, NE

Project Completion Date

September 2005


Omaha Zoological Society (Henry Doorly Zoo)


Stanley J. How Architects, Inc. Omaha, NE


Terry McGill, Inc., Omaha, NE