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Health, Science & Environment

Designers Plan Bat Condo Contest

More and more bats are losing good homes in Davis County to human development, like roads and residences. So designers at the firm, Architectural Nexus, are taking up the challenge of building them a custom condo.

The design firm launched an in-house contest Thursday for drafting plans. Andrea Nelson of the Nature Conservancy told the architects how the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve fits in.

“The idea with this project,” she said, “is to create a bat barn that will allow colonies that aren’t welcome in other areas to move in to an area that’s more welcoming to them.”

The structure should be 10-by-12 – big enough to house 5,000 of the flying mammals. And the inside should contain lots of baffles – parallel plywood sheets positioned up-and-down so bat families can hang out. “It’s kind of a challenging problem for our designers,” said Rich Arave, a project architect at Nexus and originator of the idea. “And we thought this would be a fun volunteer effort for them to use their expertise.”

The Utah Bat Conservation Cooperative is also a project partner, and member Kody Wallace advised the architects about some of the necessary design features. She says bats get a bad rap.

“Once you get people acquainted with bats, they love them,” she says.

She hopes the condo can be built by next spring, so she can start using it to educate the public about how helpful and loveable bats really are.

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