April 14, 2003
by Sarah Foster
Marshall Tittemore Architects will work closely with ARQ Architects to develop an innovative design and building for the Bow Valley SPCA no-kill adoption facility for dogs and cats. The new design will eliminate the need for kennels, stacked cages and long narrow runs. Instead, it will feature dog apartments, cat colonies, and indoor/outdoor play areas. Design elements will create a more home-like environment for the care of the animals, including habitats that consist of smooth non-porous environmentally friendly finishes, plenty of toys, and cushions or recycled furnishings.
Excessive barking can raise the stress level for both animals and people. Using glass windows and doors, and acoustic plaster rather than bars and cages will reduce sound and provide a more home-like experience. Natural daylight will reduce energy needs and sanitize surfaces. Ventilation systems using fresh air will allow animal rooms to stay fresh and prevent numerous airborne illnesses. Dogs and cats in the facility are euthanized only if they are too sick to be rehabilitated or have unresolvable behavioural problems.
Marshall Tittemore Architects will integrate sustainable building practices into all aspects of the Bow Valley SPCA animal care and design, while ARQ Architects will place emphasis on incorporating locally supplied or produced materials that have recycled content or are from renewable sources. The Bow Valley SPCA seeks ongoing financial aid for the project from organizations that traditionally support architectural innovation. Construction is set to begin in 2005.