Staying true to the biblical reference, the Ark Encounter tourist attraction opened on the 7th July 2016. The park is a one-of-a-kind historical theme park which is expected to draw up to 2.2 million visitors a year.
Designed by Troyer Group Ark is a replica of Noah’s ark described in the Bible: 510-feet long and 80-feet high, thus, making it the largest free standing timber structure in the world. Todd Geer, vice president of Troyer Group, described the ark as “very rustic, with exposed wood throughout.” The inside offers more of a museum-based experience – providing further detailed information about the historical nature of the ark.
Knowing that alternative wood products would not hold up to the elements and remain stable, The Troyer Group chose Accoya wood for the exterior cladding because of its dimensional stability. In addition, its acetylation properties prevent pests from damaging the surface and ruining the aesthetics of the structure. A total of six containers of Accoya wood were delivered to the site between December 2015 and March 2016. Harry Morton, the project superintendent, was very pleased with the ease of installation and the lightweight properties of Accoya. In the fall of 2015, the project team built a test panel to monitor the natural changes in colour of the wood and were very satisfied with the weathering and the natural grey colour generated from Accoya.
Utilising 300 – 400 m3 of Accoya, the Ark Encounter is one of the largest ‘green’ construction projects ever created in the US. Accoya wood was selected for both its ‘green’ credentials as well as its high-quality sustainability, which far exceed unsustainable tropical hardwoods. Accoya is sourced from FSC® certified and sustainable forests making it the ideal wood product for this monumental and ambitious project. Todd Geer at Troyer Group commented: “We were impressed with Accoya’s credentials – the product is fully carbon neutral, extremely durable in exterior applications and both reusable and recyclable. Accoya has been recognised for its environmental standards worldwide so we were very interested in using Accoya to build the country’s very own Noah’s Ark.”