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Architect Selected for State-of-the-Art Dearborn Animal Shelter

Construction expected to begin this year on $4.4 million facility, pending continued successful fundraising.

Nani, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever/German shepherd mix, is one of the animals available for adoption from the Dearborn Animal Shelter, which soon will have a new home. (Photo: Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter)
Nani, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever/German shepherd mix, is one of the animals available for adoption from the Dearborn Animal Shelter, which soon will have a new home. (Photo: Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter)

An architectural firm with a reputation for LEED-certified construction has been selected to design new adoption and education facilities for the Friends of the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Neumann/Smith, one of the most respected firms in southeast Michigan, was selected, The Press & Guide reports.The local engineering partner will be Ghafari Associates, which has its headquarters in Dearborn.

The new state-of-the-art Animal adoption and Education Center will be located at 16121 Michigan Ave. It will replace current facilities at 2661 Greenfield Road that are overcrowded, more than 30 years old and needs renovation, according to the report.

The Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter took over rescue services for the city in 199d, and has adopted some 42,600 homeless animals during that time.

Neumann/Smith was the choice of a selection jury that ranked each firm’s proposals in 12 categories. Three architectural firms submitted bids for the contract.

“All three firms that bid on the project demonstrated a strong focus on sustainable design and energy efficiency,” said Ronald Gagnon, project manager for Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter. “Neumann/Smith and Ghafari have proposed a plan to investigate the use of geothermal energy for heating and cooling, energy efficient lighting, substantial incorporation of natural daylight and high-efficiency glass and building insulating materials.”

The new shelter will meet the standards for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

Neumann/Smith has designed a large number of LEED-certified buildings and will work with the Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter to determine the potential for such certification. Gagnon said. A LEED-certified design potentially reduces operating costs.

The design of the facilities will minimize stress to animals sheltered there, J. Michael Kirk, a principal at Neumann/Smith said.

“This is done through acoustic separation between cats and dogs as well as medical separation between healthy and sick animals through complex HVAC systems,” he said. “A high-degree of fresh air reduces the spread of diseases.”

The Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter raised $388,000 for the new facilities at a Black Tie & Tails fundraiser last fall. The city of Dearborn has also pledged $600,000 and land for the project, estimated to cost $4.4 million.

Construction of the 21,000-square-foot facility is expected to begin this year, pending continued successful fundraising.

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