Seals and penguins enjoy new ocean space at French zoo

Owned by the Fondation de France, the Zoo and Botanical Garden of Branféré in Bretagne (France) adheres to a philosophy of sustainable development and environmental awareness. Involved in conservation programs and programs to reintroduce endangered animal species, the 45-hectare park is home to 1,400 animals from five continents, living in conditions as close as possible to their natural habitats. The Nicolas Hulot School for Nature and Man, a center for environmental education dedicated to understanding and respecting biodiversity, was created on the site in 2004. 

Project ID
Location

Le Guerno, France

Application

Artificial lakes

Surface

3,857 m²

Membrane

PondGard EPDM

In 2003, a circular decorative pond with a small island in the middle was renovated using Firestone’s PondGard EPDM membrane to encourage the presence of freshwater birds such as ducks and geese. In 2013, it was decided to create the ocean space. This space is made up of three ponds and accommodates common seals and Humboldt penguins. One of the ponds has a 14 m² window to see the seals swimming underwater. 

The choice of EPDM waterproofing membranes was essential, given their long-lasting durability and versatility. Their flexibility and elasticity enable complex shapes to be installed to best reproduce the shape of natural ponds. PondGard EPDM membranes are also compatible with aquatic life and are true to the park’s desire to protect the environment and biodiversity.

Huge rocks were placed over the membrane with the aim of reproducing the seals’ natural habitat as closely as possible. As such, the significant puncture resistance of the PondGard EPDM membrane was also crucial to the success of the project. Similarly, the large width of the PondGard EPDM membrane panels helped reduce the number of seams created on-site. This greatly facilitated installation, which took place in winter in unstable weather conditions.