Potter League Earns LEED Gold

Oct. 19, 2009

MIDDLETOWN, RI /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse recently joined executive director Christie Smith to announce that the Potter League for Animals shelter and education center has been certified as a LEED® Gold building for its energy efficient and high-performance design.

With this designation from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Potter League becomes the only animal shelter in the United States (and the first Rhode Island building) to be LEED certified at the Gold level.

"The Potter League for Animal's Gold Level LEED certification puts Rhode Island at the forefront as we build a new, clean and green economy," says Senator Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee.

Joining in with praise for the Potter League's accomplishment was noted environmentalist and former Vice President Al Gore who wrote, "Not only do your achievements reflect your organization's commitment to bettering the environment, but also your commitment to improving the lives of animals."

In her comments, executive director Smith underscored how the new, environmentally friendly animal shelter and education center is a reflection of the organization's goal of making a difference and enriching the lives of both people and animals.   

"Green design means that this is a more inviting and healthy place for everyone. Utilizing these resources, we solved many of the challenging issues animal shelters normally face, such as disease control, inadequate ventilation, poor lighting, inefficient systems and high utility costs."

The Potter League used a range of strategies to improve the indoor environment, reduce site impact and improve water efficiency. Sustainable features include:

  • Plastic wainscoting made from soda and milk bottles;
  • A floor made from recycled tires;
  • Use of highly renewable radiata pine and bamboo;
  • A storm water management system that captures 90 percent of stormwater through a 15,000 gallon cistern, vegetated roof and permeable paved parking lot;
  • Landscaping with native plant species;
  • Low-flow toilets and faucets;
  • High-tech HVAC system provides multiple air exchanges per hour in each room.

The project was also recognized for recycling more than 75 percent of construction materials and demolition waste.

"The Potter League is about careful use of resources, reclamation, rehabilitation and second chances. We are about health and wellness. We are about kindness and positive outcomes. Early in the vision process for this new shelter, we knew we wanted to reflect all these values," notes Sheila Reilly, board president.

"The Potter League's LEED Gold certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," says Rick Fedrizzi, president of the USGBC. "The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to reach further than ever before, and as the first Gold certified animal shelter in the county, the Potter League serves as a prime example of just how much we can accomplish."

The Potter League's Animal Care and Education Center was designed by ARQ Architects of Kittery, Maine, and constructed by Behan Brothers of Middletown, Rhode Island at a cost of $8 million. The building was funded through generous individual contributions and grants from the Van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust, Champlin Foundations, Rhode Island Foundation, and Prince Charitable Trusts.

The Potter League for Animals is a private, nonprofit humane society and animal shelter, founded in 1929. Each year, the Potter League provides compassionate care to 2,000 homeless, stray and lost animals while offering a diverse number of services to their human counterparts that include education and community outreach. Through programs and services, the hallmark of the Potter League for Animals is a legacy of healthy relationships between people and their animal companions in Newport County, Rhode Island.

Source: Potter League for Animals (www.potterleague.org)

For additional information, contact Pat Heller of the Potter League for Animals: (401) 846-0592, ext. 114, or [email protected].

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