Hogle Zoo’s Health Center is one of the few zoo health centers built to LEED Gold Certification Standards. This means Utah’s Hogle Zoo is a leader in environmental and energy design. The Health Center has been designed to be an integrated part of the Zoo campus as well as the Salt Lake City Community. The building offers indoor learning spaces as well as state of the art hospital equipment, surgery space, lab space and animal holding and recovery areas.
Before the building was constructed, waste from the old hospital was carefully sorted. This process allowed us to divert 85% of the construction waste away from landfills and incinerators. These materials were recycled or actually reused in this and other projects on Zoo grounds.
Photovoltaic cells on the roof of the center provide a renewable energy resource that helps the Center and the Zoo offset energy usage. The building’s design and orientation allow the building to reduce energy consumption by 40%. Some of the ways the Center’s energy savings have been achieved include minimizing west facing windows, reducing internal electrical loads, light improvements, harvesting site energy such as daylight, and using highly efficient heating, cooling and electrical systems. The lights inside the building are designed to turn on automatically and only when a room is occupied.
Since buildings warm their environment more than wild areas, the Zoo used heat island reduction strategies to reduce the amount of heat around the Animal Health Center. This includes an Energy Star-compliant, highly reflective roof, reflective paving, and plantings covering as much of the site as possible. All of these strategies allowed us to build a center that uses a lot less energy than others its size while providing an excellent space with lots of natural light to work in and with which to provide the animals.
Other unique things about the building include maximizing the building for water efficiency, which is very important in our desert community. The building is designed to use 50% less water than a building built to normal standards. The center houses low-flow lavatories and sinks as well as water-wise vegetation surrounding it that doesn’t require a permanent irrigation system.
The building also contains 17 % recycled content. Some of the products used with recycled content include steel, concrete, insulation, ceiling tiles, carpeting, ceramic tile, and counter tops. By using more recycled materials, fewer new, raw materials had to be mined, made, or manufactured. Likewise to protect the ozone layer, The Zoo chose Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) free installed heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. CFC-based refrigerants have been documented to negative impact the ozone layer.
Over 20% of the Center’s materials were manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the Zoo. We purchased locally because products produced nearby don’t need to travel as far, saving gas and reducing pollution. The environmental impacts were also reduced and money spent for these materials were maintained in the region, supporting the local economy.
The Zoo wanted to provide good indoor air quality for both people and animals at the LS Skaggs Animal Health Center. To help keep the air clean, the Zoo chose carpets that exceeded the requirements of the Green Label Indoor Air Quality Test Program as well as adhesives, sealants, and paints that would emit few volatile organic chemicals. In addition to these clean air solutions, there is no smoking in any Zoo building or on Zoo grounds.
Besides creating an excellent work and care space for the staff and animals, the Zoo also wanted the Center to be an excellent neighbor. The Zoo chose exterior and interior lighting designed to reduce the amount of light spilling into the night sky—making it much easier for neighbors to see the stars and moon! The Center was also designed to encourage alternative transportation use as the use of cars puts a heavy strain on our environment. To help reduce air pollution and land development impacts by cars, the Zoo has implemented strategies to help encourage other methods of transportation. For this building, no new parking was added, bike storage was provided, along with a shower and changing facilities, and an alternative refueling station was added for electric cars and carts.