Animal Hospital in Arizona Goes GreenAnimal Hospital in Arizona Goes GreennewslinePosted: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009
Central Animal Hospital of Tucson, Ariz., has moved into a 5,000-square-foot “green” facility.
The hospital expects to be the first veterinary hospital in North America to receive a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Paperwork should be completed by year’s end, according to co-owner Michael Samuels, DVM.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized “green” certification system that provides third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using environmentally friendly and energy-saving features.
Dr. Samuels and co-owner Judy Miller, DVM, said they believe it is the responsibility of business owners, especially those in health care, to take into consideration the health of the environment as well as the health of patients when constructing facilities.
Some of the building’s green features include:
- Extensive daylight. The building brings in natural light using a central light monitor, glass block and Solatube Daylighting systems.
- Automatic adjustable lighting. Depending on the available natural light, high-efficiency electric lights will adjust to provide the proper lighting.
- Ventilation. Carbon dioxide and temperature sensors adjust the ventilation to provide a healthy and comfortable environment.
- Energy recovery systems. These recover energy, heat or cold from exhausted air and return it to fresh air being pumped into the building.
- Solar hot water production.
- Photovoltaic panels to generate electricity.
- Rain-water harvesting for plants and property cleaning.
- Sustainable building materials. The materials used in the construction were produced locally when possible and from materials that could be easily re-grown or replaced. For example, the insulation is made from remnants of blue jean manufacturing.
- Low toxins. The building materials and adhe sives are said to meet strict guidelines that will prevent fumes and toxic byproducts from being released into and lingering in the building and the environment.
- Sorting and recycling of waste products during demolition and construction.
“Clients really love [the new facility],” Samuels said. “Tucson is an environmentally friendly town, so people appreciate it.”
Neighbors have asked for pointers on how they can incorporate “green” living into their homes, Samuels said.
“That’s our hope, to serve as an example for others,” he said.
Central Animal Hospital was designed by David E. Shambach, Architects, and constructed by Lang Wyatt Construction, both of Tucson. Technicians for Sustainability, also in Tucson, installed the solar hot water system and photovoltaic panels.