LEED is a program that recognizes green design, construction, and operation to help reduce waste and the use of water and energy. The zoo’s CFO, Nik Dehejia, was quoted as saying, “Achieving LEED Gold confirms Oakland Zoo’s ongoing environmental leadership and demonstrates our immediate and positive impact on our planet’s resources. The building of the Veterinary Hospital addresses critical environmental challenges, creates opportunities for ‘green’ jobs, environmental education for thousands of children and families who visit the zoo, and reduces our long-term operating costs.”
The hospital opened in October 2012, and here are some of the environmental highlights of the facility, according to VPN:
- Maximum use of natural light in occupied areas to lower the need for electric lights.
- Installation of sustainable icynene castor oil insulation.
- Use of “cool roof” materials to reflect heat.
- Installation of solar panels to provide more than 60 percent of the building’s power.
- Use of sustainably harvested Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood.
- Use of in-slab radiant heating.
- Installation of outdoor concrete masonry pavers that reduce water runoff by allowing water to penetrate the ground.
Replacing a 1,200-square-foot clinic, this clinic iincludes small and large animal exam and surgery rooms, a radiology suite, a diagnostic lab, digital radiographic imaging and an animal care wing housing an indoor pool, climate-controlled rooms and a quarantine area.
This facility is also a critical part of maintaining the Zoo’s demonstration of best practices in wildlife management and animal care, and it has enabled expanded animal research and teaching opportunities with the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, as well as partnership opportunities for other facilities and institutions regionally, like the California Condor Recovery Team, and throughout the United States.
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