Exciting Update on The New Centre!
⭐ Over the past year we’ve been busy developing our plans for St Francis Dogs Home and we are delighted to share with you an update from Veterinary Architects about our brand new, purpose built building.
🏠 Existing Buildings: The fabric of the existing buildings was not fit for purpose. Currently, surface drainage runs are in the wrong direction/against regulations and all need re-routing and the general condition and design of the kennels is substandard. It would cost significantly more to refurbish them than rebuild and even then you would still have a compromised result.
🛠 Our Rebuild Plans: The designs include a new rehoming kennel block with communal spaces, incorporating a reception and areas for training and meet and greet. The design will transform our site, and will deliver a new facility which is fit for purpose, enabling us to provide outstanding care to St Francis’ dogs – something which could not have been achieved through a refurbishment alone. It should be noted that due to the very narrow and linear nature of the land flat enough to build on, building in stages is not possible on the site and would pose unacceptable issues for dog welfare and human safety. The new buildings will be positioned on the flat part of the site to avoid expensive foundations and retaining walls that would be required to build on the sloping part of the site.
🐶 Prioritising Dog Welfare: The safety of the dogs in our care will always be our top priority.
❤️ Infection control is one of the most important aspects of animal welfare accommodation. Subdivision into smaller numbers of kennels is key to maintaining good infection control, and also a calm, low noise and low disruption environment for dogs. Our plans have no more than 5 kennels together and food prep areas do not open directly to the kennel corridor. Additionally, isolation kennels will have full separation and dedicated feed prep areas. The design also includes the introduction of paths throughout the site which keep these activities separate from arrival, through to the individual buildings and to the paddocks / fields. The proposed new build will follow these principles to keep construction and running costs low.
🌎 Looking After The Environment: With ‘Net Zero 2050’ passed by parliament last year, and a revision to Building Regulations Part L expected in the near future, any new build project has to address sustainability and energy use right from the very first concept drawings. In addition, an efficient and well insulated building has lower running costs in use. Passive solar measures and good insulation keep the capital cost of heating and cooling to a minimum and also keep the running costs low. All aspects of the building, from the floor, walls, roof, windows and doors, to the heating, ventilation and lighting are taken into account in the energy efficiency calculations for Building Regulations Part L compliance. The energy efficiency principles of this proposal start with the very basic shape and form of the buildings:
- compact shape to minimise area of the walls and roof
- good insulation throughout
- orientation towards the south to maximise passive solar gain for free winter time warmth
- solar shading to prevent summertime overheating
- high thermal mass to even out day and night temperatures, and maximise the benefit of solar gain in winter and night time cooling in summer
- simple natural ventilation systems that work with the thermal mass principles
- Photovoltaic panels make a lot of sense on this site due to the totally open aspect and lack of any obstructions that block the sun. The array on the previous Training Hall will be retained, and further PVs will be added to form the canopy roofs over the kennel runs
- ground source heat pumps are a low cost solution for supplying hot water for underfloor heating or radiators and hot water throughout the buildings
This image is our architect Jonathan Clark’s impression of what the new building could look like. We’ll keep you posted on updates as our plans progress.
Whilst our doors may be temporarily closed, this hasn’t stopped us throughout this period working in line with our charitable objectives for the benefit of dogs. Not only have we been hard at work pulling together plans for St Francis Dogs Home (including appointing a new Trustee who is an Accountant to our Board), we have continued to collaborate and support other Dog Homes during the Coronavirus pandemic and we were one of the first Charities to donate to the Association of Dogs and Cats Home Emergency Coronavirus Appeal Fund.
St Francis Dogs Home has supported and is continuing to support other Dog Homes in Cornwall and Devon, both financially and with food donations. We have also been working with other Dog Homes on the welfare of individual dogs, whenever the need arises.