A roofing wonder

United Materials helps construct the Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens

Constructed in 2014, the Science Pyramid at Denver Botanic Gardens showcases the gardens' scientific foundation and invites visitors to see the world of plants through a scientific lens. The exhibition uses interactive technology such as touchscreens, light, sound and video to teach participants about Colorado's ecosystems, how plant scientists explore the world by studying plant organisms in depth and how our backyards are connected to the larger natural world. Through these interactive demonstrations, visitors can follow research and horticulture staff into the field across the state and throughout the world's steppe regions.

Steppe regions are semi-arid, cold-winter areas in North America, Eurasia, South Africa and South America. These steppes are the focus of horticultural curators' search for hardy, drought-resistant plant species. In Colorado, shortgrass prairies and sagebrush valleys are habitats for rare plant species studied by the Denver Botanic Gardens' Research and Conservation Department.

The unique 3,800-square-foot space was designed by Denver-based BURKETTDESIGN to mimic nature. The complex roof system encompasses hexagonal concrete-composite panels across 16 roof planes in varying degrees and slopes installed by United Materials LLC, Denver.

An uncommon design