Brightening Pet Adoption with Daylighting Systems

Client: Grapevine Animal Services Shelter and Adoption Center

Location: Grapevine, Texas 

Challenge: Designing a better pet adoption experience with natural daylight

Results: Integration of Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) led to a brighter and more inviting atmosphere, prioritizing the health and comfort of the animals, boosting staff morale and enhancing the chances of animal adoptions.

Product: (9) SolaMaster 750 DS Units

Solatube Distributor/Installer: NTX Building Products

Architect: Quorum Architects Inc.

BACKGROUND: The new 13,245 square foot Grapevine Animal Services Shelter and Adoption Center stands as a vital hub for the local community in Grapevine, Texas. Committed to promoting pet adoptions and ensuring the welfare of animals, the shelter plays a pivotal role in various aspects, from adoptions to humane law enforcement and wildlife concerns.

CHALLENGE: The shelter’s mission centers on fostering a nurturing environment conducive to successful pet adoptions, and the staff had specific ideas about how the new center should look and function. The challenge in designing the new facility was to prioritize the health and comfort of the animals, uplift staff morale and create an inviting atmosphere for visitors. This aimed to encourage potential adopters to feel comfortable and engage with the animals, facilitating the adoption process.

SOLUTION: In pursuit of this goal, the facility was thoughtfully designed, not only in its exterior presentation, but also in its interior functionality, featuring specialized areas including indoor cat condos, play yards for dogs and a get-to-know courtyard where potential pet owners can bond with their future companions. Additionally, a heated and ventilated drive-thru sally port ensures secure and comfortable animal delivery and transfer. 

Within the shelter’s interior, dedicated zones were established for various essential functions such as offices, laundry, medical services, recovery areas, grooming spaces and isolation/quarantine areas. These thoughtful arrangements aimed to cater to the diverse needs of the animals under care and the shelter’s operational efficiency.

Recognizing the pivotal role of daylight in promoting animal and staff well-being, Grapevine Animal Services proactively pursued a design strategy centered on infusing its interior spaces with abundant natural light. To do so, Quorum Architects collaborated closely with NTX Building Products, the local Solatube International distributor, to strategically integrate nine units of SolaMaster 750 DS.

Cost-effective, energy-efficient and eco-friendly, a Solatube TDD harvests daylight at the rooftop, transfers it down a highly reflective tube and distributes it evenly into an interior space through a diffuser at the ceiling — on both sunny and cloudy days — without adding heat or cold into the interior space below. Unlike traditional skylights, they are designed to be reconfigurable over time, and to reduce glare and inconsistent light patterns while screening UV and infrared wavelengths that can fade finishes and overheat interiors.

The impact of natural light, as highlighted in a 2013 study*, underscores the vital role daylight plays in enhancing the overall well-being of shelter animals and creating a more favorable environment for successful adoptions. Daylight, when used as an interior source of lighting, has been shown to reinforce circadian rhythms, benefiting both the animals and the staff. It also boosts animals’ mood by increasing serotonin levels thus reducing stress and anxiety commonly observed in shelter animals. Reducing stress levels is pivotal as it enables animals to showcase their genuine personalities and engage more effectively with prospective adopters. Furthermore, natural daylight has an inherent ability to enhance an animal’s appeal by accentuating its features—highlighting the coat’s sheen, the sparkle in their eyes and an overall vibrant and healthy appearance. The culmination of these benefits, coupled with the creation of a welcoming ambiance and a bright, inviting atmosphere, encourages potential adopters to engage more extensively with the animals, ultimately resulting in increased adoption rates.

RESULTS

“Prioritizing natural daylight with Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices has significantly enhanced our new shelter and adoption center. The abundance of natural light has positively impacted our environment, reducing stress, improving moods and fostering a healthier atmosphere for all. It’s been transformative for our animals, staff and visitors alike.”

Kristina Valentine, CAWA

Animal Services Manager

Grapevine Animal Services Shelter and Adoption Center

* Heemstra, E.M. (2013) Shedding a light on animal shelters: the use of light and its effect on the adoption process.

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