DEARBORN, Michigan — Neumann/Smith, one of Southeast Michigan’s most respected architectural firms, has been selected to design the new state-of-the-art Animal Adoption and Education Center (AAEC) for the Friends of the Dearborn Animal Shelter (FFDAS). The engineering partner on the project will be Ghafari Associates, headquartered in Dearborn. (See video near bottom of this page.)
The AAEC is envisioned as a new, more properly appointed Dearborn Animal Shelter. It is a dream nearly 20 years in the making that will provide homeless animals in the city of Dearborn and from surrounding areas a quiet, calm refuge in an environmentally friendly facility. It will replace the current shelter at 2661 Greenfield Road, which is more than 30 years old, overcrowded and in need of major renovation.
The selection jury was composed of representatives from the FFDAS board of directors, architect and engineering professionals from Johnson Controls (JCI), and engineering representatives from Ford Land. From a field of three firms, the decision to award Neumann/Smith the contract to design the AAEC was unanimous. Each firm’s proposal was judged in 12 categories.
Neumann/Smith met or exceeded all the requirements of the Request for Proposal (RFP) for quality, timing, creativity and program content.
As envisioned by Neumann/Smith, the AAEC will:
- Offer a soothing, comfortable, low-stress environment for homeless animals
- Provide a best-in-class work environment for AAEC staff
- Present an upbeat mood that is inviting for families, children and adults
- Offer an easy-to-clean environment that enables staff to deliver an even higher level of care
“All three firms that bid on the project demonstrated a strong focus on sustainable design and energy efficiency,” said Ronald Gagnon, project manager for FFDAS. “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 daylighting, and high-efficiency glass and building insulating materials.”
“The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed a standard of design called LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) that certifies compliance at various levels,” Gagnon adds. “Neumann/Smith has designed a large number of LEED-certified facilities and will work with the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter to evaluate the potential for AAEC.”
The use of green technology will enhance energy efficiency to reduce operating costs for FFDAS and will help maximize best animal sheltering practices.
“The building must minimize stress in the animals,” says, J. Michael Kirk, principal at Neumann/Smith. “This is done through acoustic separation between cats and dogs as well as medical separation between healthy and sick animals through complex HVAC systems. A high-degree of fresh air reduces the spread of diseases,” said Kirk.
Efforts to replace the current shelter have shifted into high gear since last fall’s record-breaking Black Tie & Tails annual fundraiser. The event attracted 300 guests who pledged more than $388,000 for the AAEC. The City of Dearborn also pledged $600,000 and the land for the project. Since the FFDAS took over animal rescue services for the City of Dearborn in 1993, more than 42,600 homeless animals have been given a second chance with new families.
According to Kirk, “Neumann/Smith Architecture is excited to be entrusted with the design of the new AAEC, and we look forward to helping FFDAS realize their vision of a nurturing and caring Shelter facility that is designed to service Southeast Michigan for many years to come.”
- Animal Adoption and Education Center (AAEC) to be located at the former AMTRAK station (16121 Michigan Avenue) on property donated by the City of Dearborn
- World class 21,000-square-foot facility will ensure homeless animals receive best possible care as they transition to forever homes
- Construction of the $4.4 million dollar project tentatively scheduled to begin in 2014, pending continued successful fundraising
The Dearborn Animal Shelter is located at 2661 Greenfield Road in Dearborn, and is operated by the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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