Central Animal Hospital of Tucson, Ariz., will host an open house for the public on Nov. 7 to showcase its new 5,000-square-foot green facility. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 4020 E. Speedway, just south of Alvernon.
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 the end of the year, according to Michael Samuels, DVM, co-owner of Central Animal Hospital.
LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally recognized green building 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 that it is the responsibility of business owners, especially those in the health care field, to take into consideration the health of the environment as well as the health of their patients when constructing new facilities.
Some of the building’s green features include:
• Extensive daylight – the new building brings in natural light via a central light monitor, glass block and solatubes.
• Automatic light adjustment – depending on the amount of natural light coming into the building, the electric high-efficiency lights will automatically adjust to provide the needed food-candles of lighting for that room, at that particular time of day.
• High levels of building ventilation – carbon dioxide and temperature sensors throughout the building adjust the ventilation designed to provide a healthy and comfortable environment.
• Energy recovery systems – recover energy, heat or cold, from exhausted air and return it to the fresh air that is being pumped into the building. • Solar hot water production.
• Photovoltaic panels for the generation of electricity.
• Rain-water harvesting for plants and cleaning the property.
• Use of sustainable building materials – the materials used for construction were produced as locally as possible and from materials that could be easily re-grown or replaced. For example, the building’s insulation is made from remnants from blue jean manufacturing.
• Low toxin production – the building materials and adhesives are said to meet strict guidelines that will prevent fumes and toxins from being released into and lingering in the building and the environment.
• Sorting and recycling of the waste products of demolition and construction.
“Clients really love [the new facility],” Samuels said. “Tucson is an environmentally-friendly town so people appreciate it.”
People within the neighborhood have even stopped by to ask for pointers on how they can incorporate green living into their homes, Samuels added.
“That’s our hope, to serve as an example for others,” he said.
Central Animal Hospital was designed by DESA (David E. Shambach, Architects) and constructed by Lang Wyatt Construction. Both are located in Tucson. Technicians for Sustainability, also in Tucson, installed the solar hot water production and the photovoltaic panels.