About the Client
Founded in 1946, The Museum of Life and Science is located less than five miles from downtown Durham and is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Originally known as the North Carolina Zoological Park, the establishment adopted its current name in 2006.
The Museum is home to over 750 animals, 70 interactive exhibits, and 40 acres of gardens and outdoor exhibits. With an annual attendance of 500,000 people, The Museum of Life and Science is dedicated to the conservation and education of nature and science.
The Museum of Life and Science is a place for learners to develop, build, and practice their scientific and critical thinking skills. Science is best learned through active practice and engagement with scientific behaviors, including exploration and discovery, gathering, and interpreting data, forming inferences, and testing ideas. The Museum provides materials, spaces, and experiences that encourage active investigation, curiosity, and inquiry. We create experiences to promote a sustained, ongoing journey of critical thinking and discovery.
About the Project
The Museum of Life and Science sits on 84 acres of land which includes a two-story science center and one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits. With this massive territory there once was a wetland basin that formed and was not easily accessible to visitors, including those who needed ADA access.
The idea of designing and installing a floating walkway began with a Grant from the Cannon Foundation to support campus accessibility and allow visitors to explore the wetland banks. This wetland hosts a mix of native, non-native, and invasive species. The water levels change constantly due to rainfall and the museum needed a product that can accommodate the environment.
About the Solution
The system includes 2,065 square feet of Floating Dock, an ADA Aluminum Gangway, Square Tube Railing with Cables, and PVC Decking. The Observation Floating Dock is made of environmentally friendly materials that are durable allowing the man-made system to blend in with the natural habitat without harming the environment. With the installation of a floating dock system, all guests are easily able to navigate the outdoor path system. For those who need ADA access, they are now able to board the train using a new access ramp and landing platform system. This system has allowed all museum visitors and museum rangers to access the wetlands safely and effectively and a new perspective by being surrounded by naïve grasses and tiny creatures.
About the Results
The Museum of Life and Science strives to create a place of lifelong learning where people of all ages embrace science as a way of knowing about themselves, their community, and their world. AccuDock had the best product visually with the smoothest and easiest installation. The project is a win-win for all parties involved. It allows all visitors to explore within the 84 acres of land. This floating dock addition gives the audience a different perspective and the ability to wander through the wetland with the help of the floating walkway. The Cannon Foundation’s mission and vision to contribute towards accessibility, diversity, and inclusion was executed with the help of AccuDock and The Museum of Life and Science.
“We recommend AccuDock to everyone who needs a floating dock solution. AccuDock was very accommodating, effective, and helpful when designing our system. Delivered a high-quality product within a remarkable scheduled time frame.”