Public building
Over $5 million

Seattle Aquarium SEAS exhibit

Location: Seattle
General contractor: Turner Construction Co.
Owner/developer: Seattle Aquarium Society
Lead architects: Mithun and Bios LLC
Lead engineer: Armour Unsderfer Engineering
Contract amount: $6.1 million

Photo courtesy of Turner Construction Co.
Turner Construction Co. built a 120,000-gallon exhibit tank at Seattle Aquarium that included a 39-by-17-foot acrylic window. Despite its 55,000-pound heft, it was installed without damage to the aquarium’s roof trusses or slab floor.

Turner Construction Co. and its design-build team had the novel challenge of adding to a structure that had animals inside and out.

While working over Elliott Bay on Pier 59, the team constructed two new Seattle Aquarium exhibits — a 120,000-gallon exhibit tank and a 7,500-gallon open wave tank.

Turner and team completed a 30-hour continuous concrete pour from a pumper truck on Alaskan Way, 120 feet above the exhibit. They also installed a 55,000-pound acrylic window measuring 12.5 inches thick, 39 feet long and 17 feet high without damage to the aquarium’s roof trusses or slab floor.

To keep debris out of Elliott Bay, Turner installed a net under Pier 59 and backed it up with a floating boom around the length of the pier. To protect the animals from excessive pier vibration, heavy equipment operation was limited on the pier itself, with all heavy lifts performed from Alaskan Way.

No injuries were recorded on the project, reflecting the culture at Turner, which promotes the safest possible workplace for employees, subcontractors and clients. Turner maintained its standing as the contractor with the lowest experience modification rate (a safety performance measure) in Washington state.

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