AWC-Constructed Animal Shelter to Open Saturday: Anticipated to be Jacksonville’s First LEED Gold

Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 5, 2009—The City of Jacksonville’s long-awaited new Animal Care & Protective Services facility will officially open on Aug. 8, due in large part to the exemplary skills and strong customer commitment of Auld & White Constructors (AWC) and their design partner, Ebert Norman Brady Architects.  Auld & White completed work on the new facility in June, bringing the project in on time and on budget.

When the certification process is completed in September, the facility is slated to become Jacksonville’s first LEED Gold-Certified structure, a milestone in green building for the First Coast and the City of Jacksonville.  Grand opening ceremonies for the new shelter will feature remarks by Mayor John Peyton, City Council Member Warren Jones and AWC president Ed White.  A vendor and animal-adoption fair will round out the festivities.

“It was a pleasure doing business with Auld & White Constructors,” said Mayor John Peyton.  “Their dedication to getting things right, along with their expertise in green building and creative cost management, made the difference on this project.”

“It was especially satisfying to bring this project in for a successful landing,” said Ed White, “because it had faced so many challenges over the years.  We felt a strong responsibility to the taxpayers and animal lovers of this community to get the job done right and deliver it on time.”

“I am particularly proud that the Animal Care & Protective Services facility will be Jacksonville’s first LEED Gold-Certified structure,” he continued, “and I commend Mayor Peyton for initiating a green building initiative for city facilities.  Sustainable building doesn’t just conserve resources and improve the environment—it also saves money over the long term in energy and water costs.  That’s a great return on investment for the city, and the mayor was both visionary and practical to insist on LEED certification for this facility.”

About the Project

The new Animal Care & Protective Services facility replaces the city’s existing shelter, which had long been deemed inadequate and outmoded by city officials and animal advocates.  Although it was initiated in 2001, during the tenure of Mayor John Delaney, site and cost-related issues delayed progress on the project.  It was eventually resurrected in 2006 and awarded to Auld & White and Ebert Norman Brady Architects on a design-build basis.

A number of financial challenges inherent in the project put Auld & White’s well-known cost-management skills to the test.  The budget was already tight when the contract was awarded; the city’s initial $9.7 million building fund for the shelter had been reduced to $8.5 million by design expenses incurred during a prior iteration of the project.  Also, the decision to “go green” occurred during the design process, so costs for sustainable construction had to be worked into the existing financial framework.

Through diligent planning and rigorous cost management, Auld & White was able to complete the project on budget.  In fact, the firm even returned to the taxpayers a $30,000 contingency fund for roofing which had been included in the project due to the rising cost of oil, the basis of most roofing materials.  AWC identified an alternative roofing supplier which supplied a system that was equally as energy-efficient as the system specified in the initial design, yet cost less and was less expensive to install.  This allowed the builder to avoid using the contingency fund and provided an additional $6,000 in savings that could be utilized to equip the new facility.

Thanks to the skill and hard work of Auld & White’s project team, Jacksonville’s new Animal Care & Protective Services facility will provide a valuable service for both human and non-human residents of the city for years to come, and it will save the taxpayers money on utilities as energy and water costs continue to rise.