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Large Animal Facilities — Green & Efficient

Gary Shane, AIA and Whitney Sanders, P.E., STV Architects


Small dairy farms, in many ways, exemplify the principles of sustainable design. This is especially true of farms in operation prior to the widespread use of chemical fertilizers. Dairy farms were "large animal facilities - green & efficient," and were to a large degree self-sustaining. They often took advantage of the benefits derived from integrated waste management, renewable resources, recycling, composting, wind driven pumps, minimal energy usage, and local materials of construction. There was definitely a rigorous interrelationship established among the people, the animals and the environment.

Large animal diagnostic and research lab facilities, on the other hand, because they involve the potential presence of infectious and toxic agents, must establish a different relationship among the people, the animals and the environment than those established on the dairy farm. Animal holding areas and the labs themselves are highly controlled environments, maintained through the use of sophisticated mechanical equipment systems that tend to be high energy consumers. The presentation will focus on how the principles of sustainable design can be brought to large animal lab facilities. Site planning, building material selection, indoor air quality, water conservation, recycling, waste stream management, commissioning, and the all important issue of energy usage will be examined for non-containment, containment, and isolation type large animal facilities and labs. The applicability of LEED™ program goals will also be examined in terms of designing "large animal facilities - green & efficient" for the 21st century.


Gary L. Shane, AIA, is an experienced architect with nearly 25 years of experience in the programming and award-winning design of specialized laboratories that involve Large Animals in research projects.

Gary's broad range of experience allows him to integrate the needs of the researchers, the environment in which the researcher works, and the animals that they study into an efficient facility that emphasizes safety to all involved. The designs are developed to maximize reuse of materials and minimize the total energy consumption of the building.

His portfolio includes the renovations and/or additions to Large Animal Facilities at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, two facilities for DuPont, and the Agricultural Science and Industries Building at Penn State. He was also a leader in the design of highly specialized containment laboratories at the CDC Viral/Rickettsial Laboratory in Atlanta, which won the Federal Design Achievement Award, the Army's Life Sciences Test Facility at Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC, among others.

Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Albright College and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Drexel University. He is currently the Director of Architecture at STV Architects in Douglassville, PA.

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