Fairfax Animal Shelter Renovated

Photo by Jonathan Moore.

Photo by Jonathan Moore.

Alexandria’s Cole & Denny Architects has recently completed a renovation and expansion of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter on West Ox Road. The improvements increased the capacity of the shelter and provided a new community education space and offices for Fairfax County’s Animal Services Division. “This upgraded facility will provide new and improved features ranging from dedicated space for treating injuries and infectious diseases, to animal rehabilitation and adoption rooms where pets and potential owners have a chance to meet and bond,” says Tawny Hammond, Fairfax County Animal Shelter Director.

Among the new physical elements are several that are expected to contribute to a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for the structure. According to Mike Detomo, the project architect at Cole & Denny, energy-saving features at the Shelter include:

  • Advanced daylighting systems, enabling 75% of the building to benefit from natural illumination;
  • Reduced-flow washroom fixtures and flow-rate adjusters for sinks;
  • Five outside air energy-recovery units, meeting the ventilation standards recommended by the Human Society of the United States;
  • 26,000 sf of white PVC and metal roofing, reducing the building’s heat-island effects;
  • Dedicated 122 sf recycling room and dumpster; and
  • Additional space for separate animal care and pet adoption services.

Along with additional rooms to care for small mammals, birds, and reptiles, the upgrades and expansion will improve daily operations and reduce costs. “Renovated space will provide more natural light and more areas for specialized treatment and visitation,” says Cole & Denny principal John Cole.  “Every detail of this upgraded facility is about creating meaningful and lasting connections between people and pets.”

Working with shelter officials, Cole & Denny’s four-phase development plan has allowed continued operation of animal care services throughout the entire construction period. “Our ultimate goal was to create a new and appealing environment for staff, visitors, and the animals in their care, while working with the contractor to maintain a seamless flow of services throughout each project phase,” says Cole.  Maintaining uninterrupted shelter activities was a vitally important objective, as this facility takes in more than 4,500 homeless pets and other animals each year.

Bacon Group, Inc., of Clearwater, Florida, specialists in animal care facilities, assisted in the design.  Maryland-based Keller Brothers, Incorporated is the general contractor.

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