Plans Underway for Florida's First Green Animal Shelter

Future Florida Green Animal Shelter Aerial photo
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With the already clear need for an animal shelter in Florida's Sumter County, the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County has outlined plans for Florida's first environmentally responsible animal shelter. After 26 years of serving the community without an animal shelter, the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County has begun its major capital campaign to raise the $1 million needed for construction of the 7,300 square foot structure. Read on to find out what makes this animal shelter so green.

The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County has begun its major capital campaign to raise money for Florida's first green animal shelter. The nonprofit organization will be applying for grants on a county, state, and federal levels to assist in the initial design, planning, and construction costs on the 5-acre site in Lake Panasoffkee, but the nonprofit is well aware that the majority of the funds will need to come from community donations.

The Humane Society/SPCA will be following The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as they begin the construction of the equine and livestock facility. The next phase will be the green animal shelter for cats and dogs. The initial plans were donated by space planner and programmer Beverly Cunningham of Nick A. Jones Architect, LLC of Clermont, Fla.

Equine and Livestock Facility Green Features
Cullison-Wright Construction Corporation of Ocala, Fla., will be using a modular interchangeable barn in the equine and livestock facility. The system allows the Humane Society/SPCA to expand and adapt should they need to modify anything for future growth without forcing the site to be demolished or wasting material resources. Basically, the entire barn can be moved to a new location if ever needed which shows a great opportunity to reuse resources.

In addition, this facility will be constructed with galvalum roof panels. According to the Humane Society/SPCA, the galvalum is derived from recycled materials and is higher in reflectivity than any painted colors to deflect heat. The walls will be derived from recycled plastic slats that look like wood.

Animal Shelter Energy Efficiency
To make the facility as green as possible there are plans for solar panels to reduce the costs of electricity and air conditioning consumption in the hot and humid Florida climate. Should they generate more electricity than needed, they plan to sell it back to the local electric co-op. The pre-engineered metal building will be made of recycled steel. The building’s location with regards to seasonal lighting will also maximize the use of sunlight for heating/cooling purposes to minimize energy consumption and the lighting systems will be motion sensitive to limit energy expenditure.

Other Animal Shelter Green Features
Construction waste management will divert approximately 50 percent of the construction landfill input by dividing and separating bins for wood, metals, glass, and concrete for recycling.

Low VOC paints will be used throughout so that the animals won’t have to breathe in the off-gassing of the paints within the shelter. The indoor environmental air quality will further be aided with indoor plants. Radiant flooring may also be an option for the animal kennel areas. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, radiant heating has a number of advantages: it is more efficient than baseboard heating and usually more efficient than forced-air heating because no energy is lost through ducts. Hydronic (liquid-based) systems use little electricity, a benefit for homes off the power grid or in areas with high electricity prices. Xeriscaping will also minimize water consumption.

The facility will also be accepting used ink cartridges and toners, old cellular phones, and aluminum cans. These items will be collected and turned in for monetary redemption thus reducing operating costs in another way.

The Animal Facility Capacity
The Humane Society/SPCA has always been limited to the number of animals they can assist and rely on foster homes. The new green shelter will have a capacity to house 24 dogs, 30 cats, and six horses plus miscellaneous animals. The site will also include an animal intake area, for approximately 10 dogs and/or cats who will be accepted and evaluated when they first arrive. This is where the newest arrivals will receive their initial medical exams, before entering the quarantine period, prior to adoption.

You can send donations to:

Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc.
PO Box 67, Lake Panasoffkee, FL 33538