Energy efficient building home to stray, unwanted animals in search of homes. Pic credit: SPCA
Energy efficient building home to stray, unwanted animals in search of homes. Pic credit: SPCA

Animal welfare organisation, Cape of Good Hope SPCA in Cape Town, has upgraded its 144-year old building into a 21st century green facility. The building now allows the organisation to save on operational costs and improve living conditions of the animals under its care.

On Thursday, the SPCA opened its doors to its newly improved green building located in Cape Town, following a year long construction of the facility.

“The older buildings were over 20 years old and as such various structural problems were beginning to negatively affect the overall efficacy of the facility and in order to best serve the animals an overhaul was necessary,” SPCA CEO Allan Perrins said.

Speaking to ESI-Africa, Shaun Adendorff, architect behind the design of the ‘kennel pods’, explained: “The brief from the client was to create a first-world facility that this type of operation needs design wise in terms of maintenance, energy efficiency … it had to hit international standards and is the first building of its kind in Africa.”

With the SPCA now having complete quarantine, pre-adoption and adoption pods, its kennels can accommodate up to 300 individual animals.

Energy efficient design

The architectural team had to take into account several factors including operational costs and the efficient use of water and energy.

Adendorff said that the design of the building has incorporated energy efficient lighting systems, which don’t require being on all the time, such as LED and fluorescent lights.

With regard to heating, he added that the design incorporated a series of water pipes laid into the concrete and solar panel collectors on the top of a circulating pump.

This system collects water at about 68 degrees in summer, 28 to 30 degrees in winter 32 degrees on a cloudy day.

He explained that this was done to ensure that staff reduced water and electricity waste, as previously they had to continuously wash the blankets the animals sleep on.

Based on an initial survey conducted since the beginning of the project leading it to full operation, the organisation has realised a 15% drop in kWh electricity consumption.

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