Using machine control to build a new home for the Humboldt penguins

Givskud Zoo is building a new 5,000 square meter state-of-the-art penguin enclosure using machine control from Makin A/S.


Some of the most popular and interesting animals to visit in the zoo are the penguins. People are certainly anthropomorphizing this species because of the way they look and behave: we tend to compare them to small humans waddling around in tuxedos.


Today, most zoos have come a long way in creating zoo enclosure designs that provide a healthy stress-free environment for the animals, and Givskud Zoo in Denmark is a modern zoo that prides itself on providing surroundings that are as close to the animals’ natural habitat as possible.


Building a healthy and engaging environment with machine control

The construction company Præstevejens Jord og Vandhuller A/S is owned by Niels Worm and his son. They have used machine control on their excavators since 2007 and have for more than three years worked with Makin’ 3D. The company has worked on several projects in Givskud Zoo and is currently working on building the new 5,000 square meter penguin enclosure.




Niels Worm shows the pdf file of the project design.


At the project start, Niels received the model in the form of a pdf file created by Givskud Zoo’s director Richard Østerballe. Richard puts a lot of effort into designing spacious enclosures that are as optimal for the animals as possible and at the same time give the visitors a good experience with the view of educating the general public about the animals. There have been several changes to the design.


The new enclosure includes 80 cm and 140 cm deep pools, and even a big wave machine. All of the earthworks including piping have been done with Makin’ 3D machine control.


Niels works on creating paths around the new penguin enclosure.


The design is prepared with walking paths so that the visitors can study the penguins from a bridge over the pool. The project is read into the machine control solution and Niels can simply select for example the path in the project, make it active by tapping directly on the screen. All the relevant information such as names, heights, and side references are available on the screen. It is then simple to excavate the path guided by the model on the panel.



Niels makes the path active on the screen and can immediately get to work guided by the machine control solution. All relevant information is available for Niels on the screen.


Preparing files for machine control

Flemming Pedersen has many years of experience in preparing 3D design models for machine control systems, and he has prepared the design model for the new penguin enclosure.


I received the model as a simple pdf file and converted it into a png or a jpg file. I then placed it in my AutoCAD drawing program and simply traced over the drawing and prepared the design model for the Makin’ 3D machine control system,” Flemming explains.


I make sure to name, color, and structure the files in a way that makes sense to a machine operator.


To localize the project, Flemming simply asked Niels to measure log points using the excavator’s shovel.


All data exchanges such as measured points for localization, design model transfer, and revised design models were made through the Makin’ Cloud solution, which is an integral part of all Makin’ solutions.


This saves me time and costs because I don’t need to wait for a surveyor to drive out to me with updated files,” says Niels.


The new modern enclosure is ready for the penguins to move into around Christmas



Niels explains the benefits of Makin' 3D machine control.