Animals, like humans, need clean environments to live in. Designed by Jacksonville, Fla.-based Ebert Norman Brady Architects, the new LEED Gold certified  Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services building provides just that for its four-legged population. The 41,000-square-foot facility is located on a reclaimed 4 1/2-acre brownfield site and replaces an aged and overcrowded shelter. The donut-shaped building is designed to maximize natural light and ventilation. The north end of the building is the adoption and administrative area, which boasts large expanses of glass and bright colors. That northern orientation also allows for natural light without concern for solar gain. The central portion of the building houses the canine and feline wards. Canine wards are on the perimeter of the building with high ribbons of glass on each side and skylights for natural light. The feline wards are four free-standing individual buildings located in the courtyard for outdoor views, natural light, and optional cross ventilation via operable windows. Canine and feline units are situated to provide east-west solar orientation to mimic the natural daily cycle as much as possible. The south end of the facility includes a secured animal intake area, a medical treatment area, surgery suite, and employee entrance.

The mechanical systems required a minimum of 12 air changes per hour in each of the individual animal wards for disease and odor control. Retail and public areas are conditioned with direct expansion variable volume systems that provide space and sub-zone temperature control with exhaust fans for odor and pressure control in visitation areas. A dedicated direct-expansion, air-cooled, 100% outside air system with heat recovery and hot gas reheat for animal wards were specified where high air ventilation exchange rates were required. Other spaces are conditioned with constant volume, high efficiency, air-cooled direct expansion systems. Photo sensors in each of the naturally lit spaces sense daylight and dim interior lights to further save energy. The building is projected to use 40% less energy than a comparable building built to code.

Durable, budget-conscious materials include split-face masonry and architectural metal panels for the exterior and painted concrete masonry walls for the interior. These materials contain a high amount of recycled content and are recyclable at the end of their lives. About 43% of building materials were regionally sourced; 83% of construction waste was diverted from landfills. The facility also maintained close to 50% of the open space on the site.