At a Glance

By integrating climate resilience, ecological uplift, decarbonization, and energy and water efficiency into its master plan from the start, the Sacramento Zoo at Elk Grove is defining the future of zoo planning and design.

Project Description

For many decades, the Sacramento Zoo was impacted by the limitations of its site in the Land Park neighborhood and the lack of viable expansion capabilities. When relocation planning efforts failed to reach resolution in 2020/21, the City of Elk Grove and Zoo leadership realized an opportunity to work together to build a new, world-class zoo from the ground up. As part of an integrated zoo design team led by Studio Hanson Roberts, Biohabitats helped the Sacramento Zoological Society and the City of Elk Grove prepare the initial phase of a facility Master Plan for the new zoo on a proposed 70-acre site.

In creating the new zoo, the Sacramento Zoological Society and the City sought to incorporate best-in-class thinking, design, and practices to create unparalleled animal and visitor experiences. As the project team’s sustainability, ecological, and water consultant, Biohabitats took a district/campus-wide approach to ensure that water, energy, ecology, and site strategies were incorporated holistically. To do this, Biohabitats provided ongoing review, discussion, and generation of resiliency and sustainability-related input; participated in project workshops, charrettes, and meetings; and presented on sustainability-oriented topics. Biohabitats’ ecologists also explored opportunities to integrate regional ecology and biodiversity into the overall site design, ensuring that the Zoo’s conservation and habitat goals are reflected in its physical design and planning. Biohabitats’ engineers benchmarked water and energy goals for the Zoo and established a high-level water footprint from which planning decisions can be made to encourage efficiency.




Physiographic Province

Snodgrass Slough


Pacific Border

Expertise Areas

Climate Change, Conservation, Water


The City of Elk Grove


Sacramento, California, United States

Project Team
  • Studio Hanson Roberts