City of El Cajon – El Cajon Animal Shelter
El Cajon, Calif.
Owner: City of El Cajon
Lead Design Firm: Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects
General Contractor: C.W. Driver
Mechanical & Plumbing Engineer: MA Engineers
Electrical Engineer: ELEN Consulting
Structural Engineer: Coffman Engineers
Civil Engineer: Snipes-Dye Associates
Landscape Architect: Wimmer Yamada and Caughey
El Cajon’s $9.46-million, state-of-the-art animal shelter includes administrative offices, animal housing and veterinary service spaces as well as grooming, play and pet adoption areas. In all, the facility can accommodate up to 218 animals, split evenly between cats and dogs, with nearly 5% of the space designated for small mammals and reptiles. Kennels are expandable to allow dogs to move freely between interior and exterior spaces, thus providing flexibility for population spikes and making maintenance easier.
Building interiors integrate fear-free design concepts to reduce stress and anxiety among animals. Areas are appropriately sized and oriented to avoid face-to-face contact among cats and dogs. Separate mechanical zones help to minimize odor and possible transfer of airborne diseases.
The facility was constructed to meet LEED certification standards, with a 98-kW roof-mounted photovoltaic system that’s expected to offset 83% of annual energy consumption.
When it was discovered the project was 33% over budget, which typically would have required stakeholders to reevaluate the entire building program, team members instead generated a list of more than 100 value-engineering opportunities and discussed each item line by line. Although the exercise required a series of collaborative sessions and involvement of city personnel, end-users, subconsultants and subcontractors, the shelter project met the budget without compromising the program or durability requirements.