Dogs Trust Shrewsbury opens


McPhillips have built the "greenest" dog rescue centre in the world in a cutting edge £5.25 million eco-friendly re-development for the Dogs Trust.

The world beating construction project on the site of the existing Canine Rehoming Centre at Roden, near Shrewsbury, has been designed to be carbon neutral and is the first building of its kind designed to BREEAM Outstanding levels. Innovative energy saving features have reduced energy consumption by 70 per cent over a traditional rehoming facility and the centre has achieved an A+ rating for energy efficiency under the UK Building Regulations.
Designed by Shrewsbury based Peter Napier and Co, the centre has been constructed to give dogs a stress free environment while awaiting rehoming and has received a tail wagging approval rating from its new occupants who took up permanent residence on August 2.
The scheme is such a success that McPhillips and Peter Napier and Co. have been appointed by the Dogs Trust to build another Rehoming Centre in Loughborough with work just starting on the £7.1m project.
Dogs Trust Shrewsbury was completed in two phases to allow the centre to remain open and operational. The first phase from June to December 2010 demolished six buildings and upgraded kennels to temporarily accommodate the rehoming centre on the 14 acre site while the new 2,700sq metre centre was built in phase two and consists of a reception and rehoming building, intake kennels, training and behavioural centre and veterinary facilities.
Built using Passivhaus principles to ensure it is self-sustainable in its energy requirements and the centre uses bio-fuels to provide heating. Passivhaus is a method of construction which provides excellent thermal performance and airtightness, minimising heat waste, and as a result the centre requires very little artificial heating. All parts of the building are designed to save energy from the roof and walls down to the floors to such an extent that it has been selected by the Constructing Excellence organisation as an exemplar of sustainable building. (For more details visit the West Midlands Constructing Excellence website at
The timber frame was obtained from sustainable sources and is lined with a Proclima air membrane and voids are filled with Warmcell blown insulation to provide a thermal resistance considerably better than minimum building regulations (0.15W/sqm.K for walls compared to building regulations 0.35W/sqm.K). Air permeability is also significantly better than the existing regulations with a result of 1.01m³/(h.m²) @ 50 Pa compared to 10 m³/(h.m²) @ 50 Pa required by building regulations.
Lime mortar was used in place of cement for the walls to drastically reduce the embodied carbon associated with cement production.
Green roofs totalling 750 sq metres feature native species plants and contribute to the excellent heat insulation. Grey water and rainwater are stored in a 25,000 litre underground tank for use in washing out the kennels. On site drainage is provided by a sustainable urban drainage system (SUDS) and drains away naturally through a series of swales. The centre also has its own sewage treatment plant for the processing of canine waste.
Much of the centre’s power is provided by 130 polycrystalline photo voltaic (solar) panels covering 220 sq metres which produce an output of 30.55kWp and an energy yield of 25035kWh. These alone save an estimated 14.25 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Supplementary heat is provided by a 56kW district heating plant linked to the building management system to provide integrated control of heating and ventilation.
Dogs Trust chief executive Clarissa Baldwin OBE said: “We’re delighted with the work carried out by McPhillips. Thanks to their excellent building and civil engineering experience and skills we’ve been able to create an enriched environment for our dogs, offering them a high level of welfare. Ensuring our hounds are happy and healthy while waiting for a home is our main priority.” 
Peter McPhillips, Joint Managing Director of McPhillips said: “This scheme is a major success for the Dogs Trust and McPhillips and puts us at the forefront of sustainable building projects. We are very pleased to have had early contractor involvement and integrated as part of the design team alongside Napier and Co. and to have been the main contractor providing what is being called the best animal welfare centre in the world while securing value for money for the Dogs Trust.  Both designers and developers will be interested in the innovative methods used to create such a world beating project.”
Peter Napier of Napier and Co. said: “The working relationship with McPhillips was a collaborative one and this proved to be the key to the success of the project. McPhillips’ management of the project has been outstanding.”


Peter Oughton, Quantity Surveyor for the Dogs Trust said: “I could not wish to have worked with a more impressive and agreeable contractor than McPhillips.”