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Five Tips for Getting Started

Posted on Tue, Jul 02, 2013 @ 09:51 AM

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Where do I start?  What are the first steps?  What information do I need to provide?  These are some of the most frequently asked questions that we, as architects, get from prospective clients.  And they are good questions!  The design process can be very confusing and overwhelming, so here are a few tips to help you get started.



      As you start thinking about a site or location for your new facility, be sure to do your homework.  Check that the site is zoned properly for your use.  Make sure your site is large enough to accommodate both the size of the building you want AND the required amount of parking.  Look into local code and regulation compliance requirements.  Investigate the size and capacity of the utilities that currently serve the site.  It is important to know all of these things about a site or a new building before you buy or sign a lease, because they can all be difficult and/or expensive to overcome later in the process.



          If you are purchasing an existing building, building out a lease space, or expanding/renovating your existing facility, it helps to gather as much information as you can about the existing building.  A set of blueprints is ideal.  Oftentimes, original plans for a building are rolled up and tucked away in a utility closet or storage room.  If you can’t find them, you can always check with the local building department to see what they have on record.  Or you can ask the building department for the name of the original architect and try to track down drawings from them directly.  It is not absolutely necessary to have a copy of the previous building plans, but if you do, it can help to speed up the design process.


            3. TALK TO BANK LENDERS.

              Knowing what you can afford and how much you will be able to borrow will help define the size and parameters of your project in the beginning stages of the design process.  As a general rule of thumb, you can typically borrow your annual gross.  However, getting some advice from your bank early in the process can prevent designing a new facility that you love, only to find out you can’t afford to build it.



                  If you have gathered the above information and still aren’t quite sure if your project makes the most financial and logistical sense, let your architect help.  Your architect can do a feasibility study that will look at all the information you have gathered, combine it with their design and construction expertise, and use that information to help you decide whether or not to move forward.


                    5. GATHER TOGETHER IDEAS THAT YOU LIKE. 

                      You don’t have to have it all figured out, but having a general idea of what you would like in your new building will help drive the design in the right direction from the beginning.  Talk to colleagues who have recently remodeled or built a new facility, and ask them what works well and what doesn’t.  Visit as many animal care facilities as possible, especially new ones, and take note of what design elements, spaces, materials, and finishes appeal to you.  And finally, think through your day-to-day operations to decide if any of your current spaces are under-utilized, too large, too small, or if you need a space that you don’t have at all.  The more thought you  put into these things ahead of time, the easier it will be for your architect to help you create your ideal design. 

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                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors

                      Thinking Beyond Aesthetics – A Technical Viewpoint

                      Posted on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 02:42 PM

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                      Here is a quick little exercise: Take 30 seconds to reflect on some of the day-to-day tasks that take place around your hospital. Not just the more obvious ones, like surgeries, but some of the more basic tasks that while small are still a critical part of the overall operation of your hospital, such as sterilizing equipment and restocking supplies.

                      Now think about how these tasks are affected by the design and layout of your space. Is your shelving at an easily accessible height? Are your countertops deep enough?  Is equipment easily accessible, especially in an emergency?

                      Hopefully, you just opened your eyes to some of the smaller, but vastly important, aspects that go into designing a new hospital. It is easy to get fixated on the bigger aspects of hospital design, like the overall look of the building or how spaces work and flow together. But successful hospital design also comes from designing for these “small things”.

                      Over the years, we have learned how vastly important equipment coordination is when designing a new facility. It’s an essential component that is often overlooked or left until the end. But the sooner we can coordinate equipment with our clients, the better off we all are in the end. From defining the necessities like lab equipment and animal housing, to determining how equipment will be used and stored in areas from treatment to offices, early equipment decisions can create a more efficient and well thought out hospital.

                      Let’s take the pack/prep area for example. Every veterinarian has different needs in their pack/prep. Specialty hospitals might require a large floor model autoclave, but a standard veterinary practice may only utilize a countertop model. Either way, there are design considerations.

                      With a floor autoclave, considerations include the overall size of the unit, required floor clearances around the autoclave, and even the coordination of a floor sink and built-in hot and cold water plumbing for the unit. As one can imagine, these requirements will quickly begin to dictate the overall size of your pack/prep area.

                      On a smaller scale, a general practice hospital will likely use a countertop autoclave, which might not seem like a big deal. However, most countertop autoclave models are actually deeper than a standard 24-inch counter. So building a deeper cabinet base might be imperative to the design. In addition, the manufacturers of these countertop models typically recommend the use of distilled water. So will you bring in outside bottles of distilled water? Or would you rather have a relatively inexpensive reverse osmosis system built in at your sink in pack/prep? These are all examples of the everyday things that are important to consider during the design and coordination stages of your hospital project.

                      Due to the large amount of equipment utilized in treatment, this is another important area of your hospital to think through thoroughly. Consider the ultrasound machine and think about its actual size. Where will it be located while in use?  Where will it be stored? The same applies to a crash cart. You want your crash cart to be easily accessible, but out of the way when not needed. You could have an empty alcove to tuck the cart into when not in use, or maybe a blank section of wall off to the side would be sufficient. How about your anesthesia equipment?  Will you be using mobile machines or wall mounted? If they are wall mounted, a specific location on your treatment column will need to be reserved. The list goes on and on…

                      What can you do to be prepared when it comes time to design your hospital?

                      • Decide Old Versus New. Will you be reusing equipment from your existing facility? If so, which pieces? In contrast, which pieces of your current equipment need to be replaced? Do you need to purchase any new equipment that you don’t already have? Are there any pieces of equipment that you plan to purchase in the future as your practice grows, and how can you plan for and accommodate for them in advance?
                      • Collect Information. If you are planning to reuse current equipment, start gathering your information ahead of time. Write down the model numbers and/or dimensions of each item. Locate the operation manuals for each piece of equipment; these usually describe any required special conditions and can often be found online.
                      • Go Shopping/Browsing in Advance. Make a list of the new equipment you need to purchase and become educated on the products available. In today’s market, medical technology is constantly changing, and therefore, so are the available products. Do your research. Talk to your colleagues about what equipment they use. Visit trade shows; there is no better place for one-stop shopping. You won’t be expected to have all your equipment purchased in advance, but having an idea of which specific products you think you want can go a long way during the early design process.
                      • Share. Compile all of the information you have collected into a folder or spreadsheet, or whatever works best for you. Be sure to give this information to your design team as early as possible so everyone is on the same page.

                      Ultimately, the more upfront equipment planning you can do the better. Having an architect who knows the ins and outs of veterinary equipment and design will also help immensely. The combination of your upfront planning and the architect’s expertise will allow for the ultimate collaboration on your new hospital – a collaboration that will result in a smooth design process and a well thought out hospital that will work for you for many years to come.

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                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors, Industry Trends

                      Don't Let Color Scare You

                      Posted on Tue, Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:53 AM

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                      Brought to you by Contributing Editor Ashley M. Shoults of Animal Arts.

                      It happens all the time.  You reach the point in the design of your hospital where it’s time to pick material and paint colors, and the stress and anxiety begins to set in.  How can I pick colors from just these little samples?  Should I choose a bold, vibrant and exciting color palette or stick to more traditional neutral shades just to play it safe?  And no matter what I choose, how will these colors actually look when they are installed?  These are the types of questions many people ask as they design their hospital, and it’s only natural.  Color can be a scary and daunting thing.  But it doesn’t have to be!

                      Vibrant, punchy colors are the “in” thing these days.  Just look at the past two Pantone Colors of the Year….Tangerine Tango and Emerald Green!

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                      It might be hard to picture a whole wall painted in one of these very bright colors.  They seem overwhelming, right?  But when used correctly, these vibrant colors can really liven up your hospital space.

                      For those who don’t mind living on the edge, using lively paint colors as accent walls can be really fun and energizing.  However, be careful not to overdo the accent colors or your space might start to overstimulate you, your staff and your clients.  

                      One technique to find balance when using bright colors is to let neutral colors ground the space.  For example, design your floors and cabinetry with neutral and sophisticated colors, and then add punch with bright, lively accent walls.

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                      Hospitals can also look really great when color is used virtually everywhere.  That might sound overpowering, but when done right, it not only enlivens your space, but also warms it up and makes it feel more inviting.  The trick with this approach is choosing colors that are a little less intense and that are within the same color family and general tone.

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                      If you prefer a more traditional aesthetic, there are ways to bring color into your space without bright accent walls.  Try letting your cabinetry or furniture do the talking.  Even though the current trends are showing bold, vibrant colors as the new thing, many designers are creating rooms with very neutral colors on the hard-built environment (walls, floors, etc.) and adding accent colors through furniture, cabinetry, and other decorative items.  For example, you could pick a brighter color for your built-in cabinetry or add some colorful pendant lights above the reception desk and some artwork to add a fun factor to the space.  Or perhaps pick some vibrant fabrics for your lobby seating to jazz things up.

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                      Ultimately, when it comes to picking the colors for your new hospital or renovation, the goal is to not let color scare you.  When done right, color can often be a key factor to bringing in a little touch of energy and interest that makes your hospital feel more welcoming.

                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors, Industry Trends

                      Selecting a Site for Your New Hospital

                      Posted on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

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                      Brought to you by Contributing Editor Ashley M. Shoults of Animal Arts.

                      Building a new hospital is an exciting process.  It is also a process full of big decisions, one of which occurs right from the start: selecting your site.  Choosing the right site for your new practice can play a significant role in everything from the basic design of your hospital to your potential gross revenue.  Here are a few tips for picking out your site.


                      BUY THE BEST SITE YOU CAN.

                      Try to purchase ground in a thriving community that is fast growing and prosperous.  For example, an urban/suburban location with young families in the middle and upper-middle class income brackets is ideal.  Your demographic market is directly related to your gross income; given the right market, your gross numbers can increase even in the first year of running your new hospital.


                      BUY FOR THE FUTURE.

                      You are making a 30-year commitment to the community in which you build.  So consider if it will continue to grow and how it will look 30 years from now.  It may make the most sense to purchase land with future potential at the edge of your existing community.  This approach allows the community to grow out to you, and you will have less competition from existing practices that are centrally located within the community.  In addition, think about your future expansion needs.  If you do not have the funds to build everything you want in the beginning, your strategy can include a plan for future expansion.  Consider buying a site with more than ample space.

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                      KNOW WHAT YOU ARE BUYING.

                      Before buying a site, look for the following:

                      Visibility and AccessOn the most basic level, people need to be able to find, see and get to your site easily.  So choose land that is prominent, visible from a main highway and has easy access.

                      Zoning Be sure the site is zoned for your use.  Call the city for confirmation that the site is zoned correctly.  If it isn’t, you can consider getting a variance, but this costs time and money with no guarantees.  Also, if you plan to have overnight boarding, check the local regulations that may affect your ability to do so on the site.

                      Capacity The general rule of thumb is that you will need a piece of ground that is at least four to six times the size of your building in order to have enough space for required parking, landscaping, and setbacks.  If you have plans for future expansion, be sure to include the scope of the expansion in addition to the above estimates when considering the overall size of your site.

                      Flat Sites and Soils You want to look for a site that is relatively flat and has never been used as a dump.  If the site looks steep, or if you see debris sticking up through the dirt, think about another site in order to avoid significant extra costs.

                      Utilities Be sure utilities such as gas, water, power, and sewer are readily available at the site. If they are missing, find out the cost of bringing them to the site, who will pay for it, and when they will be brought in.


                      Consider the factors above before signing on the dotted line, or give us a call to discuss any ideas and concerns you may have about the sites you have visited.

                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors

                      How Large Should My Hospital Be?

                      Posted on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 03:35 PM

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                      Brought to you by Contributing Editor Ashley M. Shoults of Animal Arts.

                      “How much space do I need to meet the needs of my practice?”  This is probably the most common question veterinarians ask when they embark on the journey to build a new hospital.  But determining the size of a new hospital that meets your requirements is no simple task.  It’s a multistep process that should include input from not only you, but also your staff, banker, accountant, management consultant, architect, and contractor.

                      Some of the different variables to consider when determining hospital size include:

                      • Your budget.
                      • Your wish list.
                      • Facility type - What services would you like to offer?
                      • Practice style - What is your approach to veterinary medicine?
                      • Current needs versus future growth.
                      • Site limitations.

                      Estimating Size
                      Here are a few general rules-of-thumb that can help determine the size of your hospital. These rules are not hard and fast, but they serve as a starting point for the planning phase of the project.

                      • Allow approximately two exam rooms per doctor.
                      • Allow 1,000 to 1,200 square feet of total hospital square footage per exam room.
                      • Use a multiplier of approximately 1,000 square feet per doctor when planning larger facilities that may have numerous doctors and/or exam rooms.
                      • Your building lot size should typically be four to five times the size of your building. If you already have a site, this may begin to dictate the size of your hospital.
                      • Account for ancillary spaces, such as mechanical, plumbing, storage, and support areas.  It is easy to underestimate the amount of space required for these areas.

                      This is probably the single most significant factor in determining the size of your hospital.  When estimating your budget, be sure to allow not only for the construction and development costs, but also for the costs of new equipment, additional staff, utilities, relocation costs, etc.  Approximate construction costs for veterinary facilities currently are:

                      • A new freestanding hospital: $200 - $250 per square foot.
                      • Buildout of a lease space: $130 - $160 per square foot.
                      • Remodeling of an existing hospital: $130 +/- per square foot.
                      • Excluding the purchase of the site, the overall expense of the project will be approximately one and a half times the cost of constructing the building.

                      The costs above can vary significantly depending on quality of construction, design features, level and durability of finishes, capacity and quality of mechanical systems, the availability of materials and labor, and your location.  However, these estimates are a good starting point for moving in the right direction with your preliminary budget.

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                      Words of Advice
                      Starting down the path of building a new veterinary hospital can be an uncertain process.  But it doesn’t have to be.  Seek help from those around you.  Choosing accountants, lenders, architects, and contractors who have experience building veterinary facilities can take the stress out of the process.  Regardless of your budget, remain open-minded during the planning phase of your project.  It’s almost a given that your wish list will exceed your budget and/or the space available, but remaining open-minded will help you find a balance between your ultimate wishes and affordability.  

                      Keep in mind that you will be living and working in this new building for many years to come.  While you need to be realistic about your budget, you should plan for both today and the future.  Consider possible expansion needs and create open, flexible spaces that will allow you to accommodate upcoming changes.  If you’re short on funds now, you can build a bigger exterior shell, finish the minimum amount of interior space to get started, and then finish the remainder of the interior as funds become available.

                      If you are thinking about building a new veterinary hospital soon, take the time to do your research and get your ducks in a row.  Ask for help from others in the industry and hire consultants with experience building veterinary hospitals.  Start the process with a realistic idea of how big your hospital needs to be compared to what you can afford.  This will help make the initial planning phase of your project go much more smoothly and minimize any surprises along the way!


                      Contributing Editor Bio

                      (from Animal Arts Website)

                      Ashley joined Animal Arts in 2006 as a young, aspiring designer.  She has since proven her ability to see a project through from start to finish with great care and attention to detail.  Ashley has helped spearhead many of Animal Arts' small-scale veterinary projects, including the Morningside Animal Hospital in Port Saint Lucie, Florida and the Upstate Veterinary Specialists satellite hospital in Asheville, North Carolina. 

                      Most recently, Ashley was in charge of the design and construction of a 35,000 square-foot luxury boarding facility in Sterling, Virginia.

                      Tags: Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors

                      Animal Arts - From the Inside Out

                      Posted on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:29 PM

                      Brought to you by Contributing Editor Vicki Pollard of Animal Arts.

                      “It is the pervading law of all things organic, and inorganic, of all things physical and metaphysical, of all things human and all things super-human, of all true manifestations of the head, of the heart, of the soul, that the life is recognizable in its expression, that form ever follows function. This is the law.”

                      In 1896, Louis Sullivan coined the phrase “form ever follows function” more popularly known as “form follows function.” At the time, this new idea marked a huge shift in American architecture. It allowed the design of buildings to better respond to the functions/tasks that were carried out inside of them, instead of strictly following historical precedence. Louis Sullivan devoted his attention to both the exteriors and interiors of his buildings. He strongly believed that the exterior of a building should reflect its interior functions. He allowed the function of the spaces he designed to influence the overall layout of these spaces. 

                      What if we examined the layout of animal care facilities the same way? How would each room be designed when it follows its functional layout or purpose? There are vast differences between the functions of an MRI suite and a cardiology exam room. The functions or procedures you perform in your facility every day should influence the design of your building. Operations, equipment and personnel all provide us with insight into how these spaces could be designed. Here are a few examples:


                      Day-to-day operations can drastically influence the layout of your hospital. Some important areas that come to mind are x-ray rooms and boarding or large dog holding areas. In radiology something as simple as choosing to sedate animals while x-rays are taken can influence the design of the room. Sedating an animal and having a nurse or technician take the image outside the room demands a unique layout. A window or alcove directly outside the x-ray room is needed to view the patient while the x-ray is being taken. 

                      The operation of cleaning and maintaining runs or boarding areas also has an impact on the layout of a space. In our animal shelters we recommend using runs that are back-to-back with a guillotine door in-between so you can usher an animal to one side while you clean out the other side. Because of the necessary repetition of cleaning dog runs, it is important to make sure that the layout of this area is as efficient as possible. Using a high-pressure sprayer versus a standard hose can have an effect on your spatial layout. A high-pressure spray system has to have a dedicated area for the main equipment along with dedicated power. If you are using a standard hose and mop to clean, having sloped floors and individual floor drains in each room will significantly cut down on cleaning time and will decrease cross contamination between runs.


                      Knowing what types of equipment are going to be installed into your facility up front will greatly aid in designing the functional layout of the space. There are numerous large ticket items, such as fluoroscopy, CT and MRI equipment, that if not decided upon early in the design process can end up increasing your construction budget. While it is easier to keep large items in mind, sometimes we lose track of smaller items that can also influence the efficient design of a space.  One example is the ultrasound machine that is used mainly by technicians to perform Cystocentesis. Think about the actual size of this machine, where it will be located in your treatment room when in use, and where it will be stored. 

                      The second piece of equipment that can easily be overlooked is the ventilator. In some emergency or high volume intensive care units there are a fair number of ventilator cases. We have found that in these special facilities it is extremely valuable to design in a designated vent alcove. Typically this is created in the corner of the main ICU or CCU space. It needs to be in a relatively quiet part of the room, where traffic is minimized.  If you cannot take up valuable floor space for this, then at minimum mount a flip-down table, exam light and medical gasses on the wall.

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                      The third element to think about for “form follows function” is personnel. This last item is pretty simple.  When laying out the various spaces in your hospital, think about how many and what types of people will be needed for specific procedures. The best example of this is a surgery room. In the most extreme case, such as at a teaching hospital, the operatories will need to be oversized to accommodate a surgeon, intern, surgery technician, anesthesia technician, and visiting observers. Things can get pretty tight if the space is not designed to accommodate all of these people. Video conferencing, where the actual surgical procedure is captured via live feed into a conference room, is another way of accommodating a larger group of people with the same end result. Boom arms that hold cameras in the surgery suite and the layout of the conference area are both aspects of the design that need to be well thought out.

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                      There are three key components to keep in mind as you are designing your facility to ensure that the form truly follows the function of the space. If your facility’s design is dialed into these components – operations, equipment layout and personnel – then your space will work well for years to come.

                      Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Hospital Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors, Industry Trends

                      Animal Arts – How to Ventilate a Cat Cage

                      Posted on Thu, Feb 09, 2012 @ 02:48 PM

                      Brought to you by Contributing Editor Vicki Pollard of Animal Arts.

                      Cats are susceptible to all manner of disease as a result of inadequate housing. The animal care industry is responding to this issue by promoting an increase in the size of individual cages and by enriching the cages with hiding boxes, resting ledges, and separated eating and litter areas.  However, we also need to address how to properly ventilate feline environments. In this article, we will explore practical solutions for getting fresh air into a cat cage and moving dirty air out.

                      Research from the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program indicates that airborne transmission is only the fourth most important cause of disease among cats in shelters behind fomite transmission, environmental contamination, and direct contact. In fact, studies show that cats do not have the lung capacity to project airborne pathogens across a room.

                      It is still important to a cat’s health and wellbeing to have the benefit of fresh, uncontaminated air.  Yet, most typical designs do not accomplish this simple goal. For example, even when one supplies 25 air changes per hour to a typical cat ward, the air exchange rate inside a cat cage can be almost negligible. This is because the cage is a dead air space outside of the primary air exchange pattern in the room.

                      The practice of aggressively ventilating an entire room does accomplish odor control, but it is not necessarily bringing much benefit to each cat. If we exchange air through the cat cage instead of around it, it is possible to achieve room odor control while reducing overall room air exchange rates and increasing the effective air exchange rates in the cats’ breathing zone.

                      Your cages don’t have to be built in to be ventilated. A rolling cage is a very practical home for a cat in a facility and has many advantages. It can be cleaned easily, it can be reconfigured based on need, and it can be rolled from room to room with its occupant inside to reduce unnecessary handling of cats, which is a significant source of stress. But how does one ventilate a rolling cage? We originally considered a solution that involved plugging a return flex duct into the back of a cage, similar to a dryer duct. However, this has proven to be clumsy, unsightly, and not very practical.  

                      The low-tech solution illustrated below accomplishes the same goal without the disadvantages.  The wall behind the cage is designed to accommodate the exhaust ductwork, while the supply is located in the ceiling in front of the cage. The cage must then be outfitted with a grille in the back. Most caging suppliers will work with their clients to have this grille installed in the cage while it is manufactured.

                      How to Ventilate a Cat Cage Insert Image

                      The cage is backed up to the wall, and air is naturally sucked through the cage on its way to the exhaust grille. In order to prevent air from rushing around the cage, we recommend placing a rubber bumper or neoprene gasket at the top and bottom and both sides of the cage along the wall to provide a better seal.

                      A mechanical engineer should be able to use volume measurements to calculate the CFM (cubic feet per minute) that will flow through the cage and adjust the overall volume of room air exchange accordingly. Our office uses 30 CFM per cage (depending on the size of the cage) as a guideline, because this volume of air exchange provides sufficient odor control without creating a feeling of air rushing through the cage. Even if you use less than this amount, the result will still be more satisfactory than in a typical ceiling-ventilated room, because the air is flowing in the direction that most benefits the occupants.

                      If the cage is built in, then the solutions depend on the cage configuration. Two-sided configurations are typical in cat adoption areas. Typically, the purpose of this design is to provide a front viewing area and a staff zone behind the cage.  The simplest solution for ventilating these cages is to supply the air in the public viewing aisle, pull the air through the cage, and exhaust on the staff side of the enclosure. This involves nothing more than providing a ventilation slot at the top of the cage on the front side. Your mechanical engineer should calculate the size of this slot. Our office typically uses a continuous slot of one inch. We locate the slot at the top of the cage to prevent the cat from being stressed by potential adopters.

                      • For built-in cages that are against a wall, our favorite solution is to use a cage that has a built-in litter ventilation chase. This is a nice feature because it prevents litter odors from contaminating the rest of the cage.  It is important to remember that your design team should work with you and the caging manufacturer to ensure that the following problems are solved:
                      • The cage should not have an all-glass front or there will be no way to pull the air into the cage. The ventilation chase must be accessible and cleanable to prevent litter dust from accumulating.
                      • The chase and duct attachments must be sized properly to achieve the air exchange that is desired. Do not assume that the manufacturer has worked this out in a way that is satisfactory for your project. For a recent project, we worked with a manufacturer to create a custom duct attachment piece.

                      The ventilation chase solution can also be used in two-sided cat cage configurations if you wish to prevent litter odors and contaminated air from flowing into the staff zone behind the cages.

                      The solutions presented in this article are only some that are available to you. The purpose of discussing these possible solutions is primarily to raise awareness and create a dialog about this important issue. If we shift the paradigm from thinking about what is best for the room to what is best for the cat, then we are working together to dramatically improve the quality of life for cats in individual housing.

                      Tags: Animal Care, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors

                      Introducing Shor-Line's New Contributing Editors.

                      Posted on Fri, Feb 03, 2012 @ 03:29 PM

                      If you are anything like the rest of America you are trying to get all the important information you seek and need in one place. You want it timely, accurate and unbiased. With this in mind we have invited industry professionals to be contributing editors on our blog.

                      In conjunction to our regular posts you will see architects, vet techs, shelter professionals and many others providing their industry knowledge. With the enhancement of our contributing editors to our blog we hope you find the Shor-Line Community a place where you can join the conversation, gain industry insight and contribute as well.

                      Next week our first article will be on the topic of "How To Ventilate a Cat Cage" by Vicki Pollard, AIA, CVT of Animal Arts. Vicki brings unique experience to Animal Arts with degrees in both architecture and veterinary technology. Prior to joining Animal Arts, Vicki worked as the Owner’s Representative during the construction of the Alameda East Veterinary Hospital campus.

                      VickiStepplerPartner fullAnimal Arts Logo White 600dpi

                      Vicki has proven to have an almost unlimited capacity for keeping track of owner’s requirements, specialized medical equipment and design details on complex, large-scale veterinary specialty facilities.

                      She has worked on a variety of projects since joining Animal Arts including the Coral Springs Veterinary Hospital, VCA South Shore Animal Hospital, VCA Kaneohe Animal Hospital in Hawaii and VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, a premier 42,000 square-foot specialty referral center.

                      Check back next week to learn "How To Ventilate a Cat Cage". Our blog articles are published through our social networks (Facebook and Twitter) in real time. Let us know what you would like to discuss!

                      Tags: Animal Care, Facility Design, Contributing Editors, Animal Arts Editors