Georgia Aquarium and Brasfield & Gorrie Celebrate Aquarium Expansion Milestone

September 16, 2019

One year after breaking ground, general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie joined city officials on Friday for the Georgia Aquarium Expansion 2020 topping-out ceremony. This marks the completion of the building’s framework.

The project includes a new four-level structure that will complement the existing building’s iconic boat façade. The highlight of this expansion is a 1-million-gallon shark exhibit that will house all-encompassing acrylic viewing areas.

Additionally, the 104,100-square-foot expansion will include a new entrance and exit as well as new office spaces, retail spaces, and a loading dock. Brasfield & Gorrie is self-performing all of the concrete mats, foundations, exhibit walls, and elevated structures for this project. Self-performing not only gives the company more control over a project’s schedule, budget and safety, but it also allows Brasfield & Gorrie to ensure the quality needed for detailed tank construction. The project will include 1,100 tons of reinforcing steel, equivalent to the weight of about 55 whale sharks, and 206 tons of structural steel, the equivalent of about 8,240 emperor penguins.

Since the Aquarium’s 2005 opening, it has been a major source of new jobs, tourism and revitalization in downtown Atlanta.

“We’re honored to continue our longstanding partnership with the Georgia Aquarium and support its mission to entertain, educate and promote conservation,” said Vice President and Division Manager Chris Britton. “Previous Brasfield & Gorrie teams completed the original aquarium project, and we’ve continued to work on site in the years since. Our project team and trade partners are grateful for the opportunity to contribute their hard work and expertise while building on the work of our colleagues.”

“We are proud of our continued commitment to our guests and to the city of Atlanta by bringing this latest expansion to the Aquarium. Brasfield & Gorrie has been an excellent partner in this endeavor, and we are excited to see the completed exhibit in 2020,” said Dr. Brian Davis, executive vice president at Georgia Aquarium. “We look forward to the opening of the exhibit and bringing the ocean even closer to our guests.” Brasfield & Gorrie is collaborating with Peckham, Guyton, Albers & Viets Architects on this project, which is slated for completion in fall 2020.