Oregon Zoo’s New Veterinary Medical Center–Green Certified

Oregon Zoo's Veterinary Medical Center

The President of the Green Chamber of CommerceElena Christopoulos, recently asked me what the zoo community does to promote green initiatives.

I couldn’t think of a better and more recent example than the Veterinary Medical Center at Portland’s Oregon Zoo.

The new animal health facility opened last month under budget and on time and features an array of “green” architectural features. The 15,500-square-foot, $9.15 million dollar hospital replaces a health care center less than half its size built in 1966.

Peck Smiley Ettlin Architects and Skanska USA designed and constructed the LEED silver certified building based on standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council. One “green” feature integrated into the highly efficient building design is a 27,000-gallon rainwater cistern which stores roof water intended for recycling.  The water is purified and used to flush toilets and even hose down animal patient enclosures and quarantine facilities.

To reduce electrical costs, solar energy is used to heat the water and solar tube lighting is used to illuminate the facility with natural light.

Building materials low in volatile organic compounds were selected for construction; foundation materials and cosmetic furnishings like carpet and tile, when possible were selected from recycled materials.  According to zoo communications personnel, the design and construction team exceeded their goal of recycling 90 percent of construction waste.

Seventy-eight trees were removed to accommodate the Veterinary Medical Center and 198 trees and 171 shrubs were planted in their place. Conifers were used in a stream restoration project and deciduous trees were chipped for use as mulch. I commend the Oregon Zoo staff and the consulting design team for constructing this certified green building and state-of-the art animal health care facility.


With training in wildlife ecology, conservation medicine and comparative psychology, Dr. Schaul's contributions to Nat Geo Voices have covered a range of environmental and social topics. He draws particular attention to the plight of imperiled species highlighting issues at the juncture or nexus of sorta situ wildlife conservation and applied animal welfare. Sorta situ conservation practices are comprised of scientific management and stewardship of animal populations ex situ (in captivity / 'in human care') and in situ (free-ranging / 'in nature'). He also has a background in behavior management and training of companion animals and captive wildlife, as well as conservation marketing and digital publicity. Jordan has shared interviews with colleagues and public figures, as well as editorial news content. In addition, he has posted narratives describing his own work, which include the following examples: • Restoration of wood bison to the Interior of Alaska while (While Animal Curator at Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center and courtesy professor at the University of Alaska) • Rehabilitation of orphaned sloth bears exploited for tourists in South Asia (While executive consultant 'in-residence' at the Agra Bear Rescue Center managed by Wildlife SOS) • Censusing small wild cat (e.g. ocelot and margay) populations in the montane cloud forests of Costa Rica for popular publications with 'The Cat Whisperer' Mieshelle Nagelschneider • Evaluating the impact of ecotourism on marine mammal population stability and welfare off the coast of Mexico's Sea of Cortez (With Boston University's marine science program) Jordan was a director on boards of non-profit wildlife conservation organizations serving nations in Africa, North and South America and Southeast Asia. He is also a consultant to a human-wildlife conflict mitigation organization in the Pacific Northwest. Following animal curatorships in Alaska and California, he served as a charter board member of a zoo advocacy and outreach organization and later as its executive director. Jordan was a member of the Communication and Education Commission of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (CEC-IUCN) and the Bear Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (BSG-SSC-IUCN). He has served on the advisory council of the National Wildlife Humane Society and in service to the Bear Taxon Advisory Group of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA Bear TAG). In addition he was an ex officio member of council of the International Association for Bear Research and Management. Contact Email: jordan@jordanschaul.com http://www.facebook.com/jordan.schaul https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordanschaul/ www.jordanschaul.com www.bicoastalreputationmanagement.com

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