Press Release: 06/18/2014

Oakland Zoo's Veterinary Hospital Achieves LEED Gold Certification

Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130

Oakland, CA, June 17, 2014…Oakland Zoo is proud to announce the achievement of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification of its Veterinary Hospital by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation's preeminent program for design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. This Bay Area facility is the first veterinary hospital in California to become LEED Gold and is the second veterinary institution with Gold status on the West Coast. Less than ten AZA accredited zoos and aquariums in the United States have been awarded LEED Gold or higher certifications. By using less energy and water, LEED certified buildings save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers, and the larger community.

"Oakland Zoo's Veterinary Hospital's LEED Gold certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership," said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. "The urgency of USGBC's mission has challenged the industry to move faster and reach further than ever before, and this Veterinary Hospital serves as a prime example with just how much we can accomplish."

This prestigious certification was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:

• Siting of the building • Maximizing daylight in occupied areas • Installation of sustainable icynene castor oil insulation • "Cool Roof" materials that reflect heat and minimize thermal transfer • Photovoltaics on the roof to provide more than 60% of the building's power • Utilization of sustainably harvested Forest Stewardship Council certified wood • In-slab radiant heating • Concrete masonry unit pavers on the entry plaza - to allow water to penetrate, thereby reducing water runoff.

Implementing photovoltaics has generated more than 100,000 kWh since it went live in February 2013 and nearly 70,000 kWh in calendar year 2013. Based on EPA estimates, this equates to completely offsetting the energy use of seventeen homes per year.

"Achieving LEED Gold confirms Oakland Zoo's ongoing environmental leadership and demonstrates our immediate and positive impact on our planet's resources, said Nik Dehejia," Chief Financial Officer at Oakland Zoo. "The building of the Veterinary Hospital addresses critical environmental challenges, creates opportunities for "green" jobs, environmental education for thousands of children and families who visit the Zoo, and reduces our long-term operating costs. We are proud to demonstrate our commitment to the green building movement."

The LEED Gold distinction is greatly attributed to Oakland Zoo's partnerships with Noll & Tam Architects, Swinerton Management & Consulting, Solar Technologies, and Alten Construction. The Zoo is grateful to SunPower Corporation for the significant donation of 154 solar panels that line the veterinary facility's roof.

Photo Credit: Noll and Tam, Architects

The state-of-the art 17,000 square foot Veterinary Hospital opened on October 11, 2012 and was specifically designed to accommodate a variety of zoo animals and their specific needs - from sun and humidity-loving reptiles, to tiny birds, to cold-adapted grizzly bears. The new facility replaced a fifty-one year old clinic, which measured 1,200 square feet in size and was designed for a much smaller collection of animals. This new facility has allowed Oakland Zoo to move into a new generation of animal care and conservation, utilizing best practices in wildlife management. With animal care, comfort, and treatment as the top priority, the building was created to include the latest technology and equipment to treat nearly 660 animals (96 species), small and large animal exam and surgery rooms, a radiology suite, an animal care wing - containing multiple holding areas, an aquatic animal area with an indoor pool, climate controlled rooms for creatures requiring particular temperatures and humidity, a quarantine area, a diagnostic lab, digital radiographic imaging, and endoscopy equipment. Not only has the facility been a fantastic place to treat animals, it has also become a place to train future veterinarians.


The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.