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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

4 Ways Engineering Can Improve Your Animal Care Facility

Engineering to Improve Your Building

Many people do not realize the lasting impacts of engineering decisions on their animal care facility or the complex engineering requirements of an animal care facility. Good engineering decisions can mean the difference between a building riddled with disease and odor issues and a building with appropriate separation and flexibility within the mechanical systems that aid in disease and odor control.

When designing facilities, the Design Learned team of building experts has developed state-of-art engineering and design practices to overcome common animal care problems such as noise, odor, disease, behavior, and unnecessary stress.

The Design Learned building experts address these issues in four ways:

  1. floor planning

  2. mechanical design

  3. lighting systems

  4. plumbing systems

Floor Planning

Interestingly, the Design Learned engineering practices start with floor planning. Floor planning dramatically impacts noise control, environmental comfort, air quality, and stress reduction in animals and staff. Suppose a floor plan is not well thought out and does not take the overall engineering of the building into account. In that case, the engineering design will not be able to be at its best performance level due to those restrictions that the floor plan and layout place on it.

Our building experts consider things like equipment size requirements within spaces, separate smaller animal zones, separation of different species housing, circulation corridors that preclude walking through one animal area to get to another, service areas in a central core of the building, and distributed outdoor access with limited stimulation for the animals.

Mechanical Design

Our goal with a Design Learned mechanical system design is to mitigate noise, odor, disease, and stress as much as possible. Our building experts design mechanical systems with multiple smaller, fully independent HVAC systems. This type of design allows for flexibility with the use of the building and each space - regarding that particular HVAC system’s settings.

Mechanical systems should also have specific outside air dilution rates for different areas, energy recovery systems, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, high airflow velocities directed to the floors, and independent dehumidification. There is a delicate balance to providing a cost-effective engineering design that also considers future operating costs.

Lighting Systems

Our team of building experts leverage lighting systems to aid staff and comfort animals where possible. Lighting systems should have multiple lighting levels for resting, feeding, and cleaning. The Design Learned building experts also consider animals’ circadian rhythms when designing lighting and determining where natural lighting should go.

Plumbing Systems

Our team often sees that plumbing systems are significantly undersized and inadequate for animal care use. The Design Learned plumbing systems are designed to reduce odor and disease issues. We often specify floor drains, trench drains, automatic rinsing systems, flush fixtures for solid waste, and power washers for cleaning in our facilities. We also use hair traps in our drainage systems to catch animal hair that may have gone down a drain so that the drains do not get clogged.

Learn about Engineering and Design Best Practices

For more tips and information on the best engineering and design practices for animal care facilities (from a company with extensive experience), call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online to discuss this further.

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