Tropical Rain Forest in Buffalo, New York

February 5, 2016
Tropical rain forest in Buffalo, new York.

Buffalo, New York is pretty far from the tropics. Structurflex provided the ETFE triple-layer architecture that made it possible to recreate a tropical rain forest in upstate New York.


Structurflex met the challenge of creating the weather extremes of an Amazonian rain forest in upstate New York — a place that experiences a lot of snow every year. That meant creating an indoor structure that kept heat and light in, and the cold out. The ultraviolet light transmission was of the utmost importance, and our architectural and design elements were up to par with the zoologists’ requirements for the plant and animal life that would reside in the structure.


The triple-layer ETFE canopy is just as transparent as glass, but it’s far more efficient. ETFE does not restrict UV light transfer, nor does it break down from UV exposure. It’s much lighter than class, weighing in at 1/100 of its weight. ETFE requires much less structural support, and means that visitors can have a pretty much obstruction-free view.


The ETFE structure at the Buffalo Zoo uses a lever system Structurflex created taht opens 12 cushions to allow for passive ventilation.

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