The centre is being built for the Dog’s Trust by Main Contractors McPhillips Wellington.
MP Nicky Morgan hailed the new development: “I was delighted to hear Dogs Trust Loughborough will be opening next year. The centre will be a real boost for Loughborough, bringing with it the benefits of new jobs an education facility and a chance for local people to get involved by volunteering in the community. Dogs Trust do a fantastic job promoting dog welfare and I believe the centre will be a credit to the community”.
“Hosting the world’s most environmentally sustainable animal rescue centre will help establish Loughborough’s position on the map as a forward thinking, eco friendly town”, she said.
Featuring a biomass boiler, green roofs, under-floor heating, solar panels and a rainwater recycling system, the rehoming centre will be able to look after around 135 dogs at any one time. The sustainable design of the structure of the buildings and the use of renewable forms of energy will reduce the energy consumption of the centre by at least 30% compared to other similar sized rehoming centres. It is hoped that the building will achieve a BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ rating.
The centre will include: 64 rehoming, intake and puppy kennels (all angled and glass-fronted); under-floor heating for all kennels; dedicated training and rehabilitation centres; a sanctuary facility for up to 36 dogs that prefer canine company and on-site accommodation for three managers. There will also be: a “real life” behaviour suite to get the dogs used to household items; a vet suite; exercise paddocks and runs; a training barn and a grooming suite.
The building is designed in a combination of single and two storey levels and is structured in both steel and timber frame. External elevations are in a combination of brick, timber, render and glazing and the building will have a ‘green’ planted roof.
The new rehoming centre will also create 25 new jobs ranging from managers, canine carers and maintenance staff. The centre has already employed a full time education officer who is visiting schools across the East Midlands to teach children about safety around dogs and the importance of responsible dog ownership.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Clarissa Baldwin, said: “We are pleased to be building our 19th Rehoming Centre in Leicestershire as this means we will be able to rescue thousands more dogs. Last year there were 21,000 stray dogs in the Midlands area alone – with over 700 of those being destroyed because their owners could not be traced or new homes found for them.
By building this new centre with sustainability in mind, we will also be reducing our carbon “pawprint.”
The centre is due to open in Spring 2012.
AMPA Associates Ltd, ecologists
The Dog’s Trust are very committed to sustainable development, and to encouraging wildlife in and around their rehoming centres.
AMPA Associates Ltd supplied highly qualified and experienced ecologists to survey the sites, and identify any features of ecological interest or value that should be retained during the development. The company were also looking for any species of particular interest, or legal protection.
They surveyed the ponds around the Loughborough site for great crested newts to ensure that these protected amphibians would not be harmed during the works. Habitat has been created on the site to encourage and increase the population of great crested newts in the new centre. AMPA Associates were also looking for any opportunities to enhance the ecological interest of the sites and encourage wildlife.
Dog’s Trust Roden has created an exciting, diverse wildflower meadow in the exercise area. The sight of barn owls foraging near the Loughborough site has enabled habitat creation to support barn owls, and allowed AMPA Associates to design a barn owl nest box into one of the buildings.
AMPA Associates also designed provision on both Roden and Loughborough to encourage bats with roosting facilities built into the buildings. The upgraded habitat around the buildings will provide food and habitat, and it is hoped that these protected creatures will take up residence in the new buildings and delight staff and visitors alike.
AMPA Associates Ltd have assisted the Dog’s Trust in a cost-effective manner to both retain the features of wildlife value, such as the wetland area and mature trees at Loughborough, and the ponds and hedgerows at Roden, and to create new habitat and encourage more species on the sites.