Corporate headquarters safeguards wellness for people, pets and community
Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest general-veterinary practice in the world. Banfield’s new $23 million corporate headquarters is located in Vancouver, Washington’s Columbia Tech Center and spans more than 17.5 acres. The facility consists of three structures that merge into a central core with 206,000 square feet of office and training space. As an organization that values people and their pets, Banfield created the facility to house 800 associates and their 225 dogs who accompany them to work, with common areas that offer amenities for employees, pets and visitors.
Banfield practices extensive Corporate Social Responsibility and is part of the Mars, Inc. family of businesses. Mars is committed to carbon neutral operations by 2040, and Banfield aspired for the headquarters to obtain LEED Platinum certification – a first for Mars! The intent was to create a long-term asset for Banfield, speak to its brand and culture using collaborative and pet-friendly concepts, and highlight sustainability. Banfield sought buildings that would keep their employees and pets happy and healthy with abundant natural light, fresh air and low-toxicity materials. In addition, the company wanted to push the envelope and provide positive benefit for the site habitat and environment. The sheer size of the facility dictated a clear strategy and close tracking of measures to meet their sustainability objectives
Well-versed in orchestrating the sustainability aspects of a project, we launched the effort with an Integrative Design Workshop that included the owner and design and construction team. Together, we strategized sustainable design goals and identified specific actions to achieve them. We fostered an inclusive environment where all team members could contribute ideas, express concerns, and recommend actions for the project. We brought specific green building opportunities to the fore, and suggested the Living Building Challenge Red List Materials as a screening tool to keep certain toxic materials out of the building. We guided the team through a preliminary assessment of strategies and their potential LEED credit rating.
Early on, we collaborated with the design engineer and presented the life cycle costs for various HVAC systems at the sustainability workshop. The owner ultimately selected a hybrid ground-source heat pump. Although this very energy efficient system had a higher upfront cost, it resonated with Banfield’s values of environmental stewardship.
The owner’s commitment to providing a healthy indoor environment for people and pets was paramount. The ideal work environment needed to limit emissions from the furnishings, have proper outdoor air ventilation, and provide a connection to the outdoors through windows. We helped the designers select furniture systems that supported Banfield’s ergonomic and low-emitting materials’ goals. Our knowledgeable professionals drew upon years of experience working hand-in-hand with operations’ staff and vendors to help Banfield’s facilities team develop a green cleaning policy. To protect the environment, we worked closely with the contractor to identify and source FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) wood that hailed from local sources.
Green Building Strategies
- As-designed building saves 785,000 gallons (68%) of water every year compared to a code baseline building
- Over 420,000 gallons of water supplemented to the building through the rainwater harvesting system
- 60% reduction in irrigation water usage
- 20,000-gallon rainwater reclaim tank
Energy and Atmosphere
- Geothermal heat exchange system
- Roof mounted solar hot water array
- Low-demand LED lighting fixture layout
- Daylight dimming lighting fixtures at perimeter
- Data center heat recovery to central plant – Variable speed pumping
Indoor Environmental Quality
- Utilization of low-VOC emitting building materials
- Daylight and exterior views for majority of occupants
- Regionally sourced building materials including wood, steel and concrete
- Living wall of plants in lobby
- Rooftop terraces
- Open stairwell to encourage health and interactions
- Bicycle racks and showering facilities for building occupants
- 12 charging stations for electric hybrid cars
Innovation and Design
- Green Cleaning
- EP Green Power
- Greenguard Furniture
Relevant Certifications LEED-NCv3 Platinum (2017)
Our strategic sustainability counsel and skillful navigation through the LEED rating system resulted in Banfield’s corporate campus receiving LEED Platinum certification. This met Banfield’s ambitious sustainability goals, and positioned the company as a national leader – the first Mars project to be awarded LEED Platinum. From a resource conservation perspective, the facility requires 44% less energy than a comparable code-built building and 68% less water. Moreover, our collaboration in materials selection and on the campus’s green cleaning policy helped Banfield achieve its goal to promote a healthier workplace environment for its employees and their pets.