Placer County Animal Services Center Awarded Multiple Honors for Design and Sustainability Excellence

May 2, 2017

The Design-Build Institute of America and the U.S. Green Building Council Present Top Awards to Innovative Animal Services Facility


(AUBURN, CA) –The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have conferred a total of three awards for the design and sustainability of the Placer County Animal Services Center in Auburn (CA). The DBIA Western Pacific Region presented both a Design Excellence Award and a Distinction Award to Sacramento-based Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture (D+B). Additionally, the USGBC recently conferred a LEED Gold rating to the Placer County Animal Services Center, which was designed by D+B along with Animal Arts Design Studios, Inc., and Unger Construction, Co.  The $22M state-of-the-art facility opened in October 2016.

“On behalf of the Placer County Animal Services Center, we are honored to receive these awards,” said Jason A. Silva, AIA, LEED AP, principal and project designer at D+B. “Design excellence and sustainability is just as important to animals as it is to humans, and we are applying these standards to similar projects currently underway,” he added.

Rob Unholz, Capital Improvements Manager at Placer County Department of Facility Services said, “The center provides the highest level of care for dogs, cats and other animals from the moment they enter to when they leave for their adoptive homes. It’s a highly-functional, cost-effective and well-designed facility, and are seeing the benefits to both people and animals in this important community investment.”

Placer Facility Features

• Best practices include disease control, odor control, and acoustics promoting health, reducing stress and creating a calming environment for both animals and people.

• Expanded spaces for dogs small and large, domesticated and feral cats, small mammals like rabbits, and exotics like geckos.

• A new animal clinic with surgery suite provides spay and neuter services.

• The largest credits claimed toward Gold certification were for Alternative Transportation Access. Public bus station proximity is within a quarter mile of walking distance for facility users, reducing harmful environmental effects of single occupancy vehicle use.

• The design of the site protects native habitats, trees, and open space for existing wildlife. Native oaks have been planted to blend with existing oaks on site.

• Optimized energy performance produced a cost savings of 28%.

• A storm-water detention basin blends in with the existing native landscape. Irrigation systems were designed to reduce water consumption by 54%. Inside the building, total calculated water use from fixtures was reduced by 40%.

Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture
Dreyfuss + Blackford Architecture (D+B), founded in ­1950 in Sacramento, Calif., with an office in San Francisco, is a mid-size firm headquartered in the California capital. The firm serves corporate, public, and institutional markets with solutions achieved through collaboration and innovation. Committed to a sustainable future, D+B brings expertise in architecture, master planning, interiors, graphic design, and construction services. Recently completed projects include UC Santa Cruz Upper Quarry Amphitheater Renovation; Blue Diamond Growers Historic Office Renovations; Sacramento State University Union Expansion North, and Parking Structure V.

Design Build Institute of America
DBIA is the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build.  Design-build is an integrated approach that delivers design and construction services under one contract with a single point of responsibility.  Owners selected design-build to achieve best value while meeting schedule, cost and quality goals. DBIA was founded in 1993.

United States Green Building Council
The USGBC was established in 1993 with a mission to promote sustainability-focused practices in the building and construction industry.  In 2000, the USGBC created an open and balanced coalition spanning the entire building industry to develop a green building rating system, now called LEED.  The USGBC awards include LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and LEED Platinum. Since the rating system’s unveiling in 2000, it has become an international standard for environmentally sound buildings, certifying hundreds of thousands of square feet per day.

Animal Arts Design Studios, Inc.
Animal Arts specializes exclusively in veterinary hospital and animal shelter design. They have a proven track record of success with over 600 projects in 40 states, Canada, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, and Australia.

Unger Construction Company, Inc.
Since 1927 Unger Construction Company has set the standard for quality, integrity and innovation in commercial construction in the Sacramento Valley. Unger Construction has become a leader in the design-assist and design-build methods of project delivery retained concurrent with the hiring of the architect for a true design/construction team. By establishing a collaborative effort from the inception of a project, Unger Construction Company succeeds by providing the highest level of service in the industry.