Our objective is to meet current standards and anticipate their evolution
Our shelter will soon offer a completely redesigned environment to meet the most recent standards in animal welfare and anticipate the future:
- Remediation, modernization and expansion of existing spaces;
- Securing the shelter for the public, our staff and of course our many residents
- Offer our animals an excellent quality of life both in terms of their accomodation and the care given to them throughout their stay with us.
We will continue to care for a total of 300 animals daily
The constructed area of the shelter will increase by approximately 1,000 m² to reach nearly 3,100 m² after expansion and renovation.
To this built surface area, it is appropriate to add the outdoor spaces of +/- 850m² directly linked to the dog and cat accommodation premises and the brand new walking trails for dogs spread over more than 1,800m².
In order to understand the extent of the changes that await us, here in a few words are the main lines of this extraordinary project for our structure.
During this work period of just over a year and a half, our shelter will of course remain accessible to staff, visitors and adopters and of course to animals.
Facilities for dogs
A new canine wing will soon be built at the rear of our shelter, while five of the six existing wings will be completely renovated in order to offer more interior and exterior spaces to our dog friends.
In total we will have four wings made up of medium and large niches and two wings with smaller niches. A certain number of these spaces can be combined for greater reception flexibility.
Our dogs, whether adoptable, found or seized, will benefit from the best comfort in the 71 new, completely redesigned kennels, 6m² for the 28 small ones, 8m² for the 34 medium-sized kennels and 12m² for the 9 largest ones.
The theoretical accommodation capacity will allow up to 176 dogs to be accommodated because the most spacious kennels will be able to accommodate two to three dogs each, as long as the dogs get along.
As with the rest of the renovation of the shelter, environmental concerns will be at the heart of the project, the dog buildings will be better thermally and acoustically insulated, and each will have an efficient 10,000L rainwater recovery system.
Facilities for cats
The current cattery occupies a surface area of 120m² inside the buildings and is connected to approximately 90m² of outdoor areas. The surface area of the “cat” spaces will, after the work, be more than doubled to approach 500m².
The premises currently occupied by the cattery will be renovated and enlarged to create a “care” space and a “quarantine” space.
The first, with an area of +/-85m², will be located to the right of the main corridor and will include a service/disinfection room, two infirmaries, a recovery room with mobile cages, and a nursery. Enough to take best care of the most fragile felines.
The second, twice as large, meeting current legislation but designed to evolve at the same time as them, will include 32 individual modular kennels which can, if necessary, increase the capacity to 64 cats thus quarantined and cared for by our teams.
These spaces will be divided into three rooms of different capacities (22, 16 and 4 niches) in order to allow the isolation of possibly contagious individuals and thus, to protect the other residents under observation.
A service/disinfection room and the use of specific materials are also planned in this area in order to guarantee the hygiene of the premises and the protection of our residents.
A new cattery, largely accessible to the public, will be created by the renovation and consequent expansion of the existing sixth “dog” wing. More than 100m² of indoor courses and 110m² of outdoor courses will be set up there.
Inside, three courses, 2 large and one medium, will allow visitors and potential adopters to observe through large bay windows, without stressing them, the felines in open spaces designed to offer hiding places, play areas and rest areas for occupants.
Two smaller courses will be intended to accommodate, for example, a cat and her babies or certain convalescing individuals requiring more specific attention.
Outside, “cat aviaries” will be built. With a larger surface area than the interior spaces, there will be four of them, all connected to the interior routes.
Once again, different technical rooms will allow our caregivers to be as close as possible to our residents and ensure quality care.
These spaces will make it possible to accommodate around sixty cats in total in optimal conditions.
Our shelter does not forget the NAC (new pets)
New premises will be built to accommodate them on approximately 60m² gross.
A first space, accessible to the public, will provide access to 12 small niches, 21 large ones and storage spaces. An adjoining reserve (material hay, etc.) and a room specifically intended for caregivers will allow constant attention.
This is a habitat system with walls that we can adapt depending on the species collected. The different spaces could possibly be modulated to accommodate a rabbit, a gerbil or a hamster, each having specific needs depending on their lifestyle or size.
The installation of windows in open spaces, more hygienic and more adapted to the different sizes of our residents, seemed to us an obvious choice to avoid bars.
The standards to be respected are specific for each species and the modular spaces that we are planning best meet the standards currently required by Bruxelles-environnement.
In this area, it will also be possible to demarcate an enclosure in which the animals can roam and come into contact at their own pace with their future adopters.
An infirmary with a separate quarantine space, i.e. 6 small niches and 3 large ones, will complete this section and improve the reception of rodents and rabbits while respecting their well-being and the standards in force.
Staff, management and public reception
The main concern of our shelter is to accommodate animals in optimal conditions while awaiting an adoption that we all want, as quickly as possible.
However, for this mission to be fully fulfilled by our veterinarians, our caregivers, our reception and administrative staff as well as our numerous volunteers, it was essential to also take care of their well-being while also respecting the numerous regulations in place. perennials.
It is with this in mind that the “staff” premises currently scattered across the four corners of the shelter will be grouped together in a single building. There will be a friendly rest room, changing rooms, showers, toilets and two laundry rooms, one of which is dedicated solely to animal laundry which requires different equipment adapted due to the presence of large quantities of hair.
All of these premises will be, like practically everything else in our refuge, accessible to PMR (people with reduced mobility).
In the same vein, specific premises for veterinarians (offices, consultation room, operating room, dog infirmary, etc.) and for caregivers (coordinator’s office, caregiver briefing room, specific kennels, grooming area …) will be grouped together in a single completely renovated building.
This arrangement will promote the care of animals, communication between staff members and the permanent monitoring of animals which, sometimes, are in more precarious situations or require more attention.
The second phase of our project, directly following the renovation of the spaces dedicated to animals, will consist of fitting out, transforming and expanding the “administrative” buildings located in the immediate vicinity of Avenue d’Itterbeek.
A new entrance with a waiting area and a ticket window will secure access to the building. A new, more spacious reception hall with a waiting area will allow visitors to meet our staff in a peaceful manner before continuing their visit to the shelter.
The administrative premises on the ground floor and first floor will be completely renovated.
An elevator will be placed opposite the main staircase to provide access to all services for people with reduced mobility and to facilitate the transfer of equipment and food from the basement storage spaces to the different animal wings.
A new multipurpose room will be built on the 1st floor above the building accesses. It will accommodate our one-off events but above all the numerous groups and classes on school visits to the shelter in order to raise awareness of animal rights and environmental protection.
Our visitors will also benefit from a completely refurbished car park and spaces dedicated to visitors with gentle mobility.
Towards a low-energy building?
A Low Consumption Building (BBC) is a building that consumes very little energy and emits as little greenhouse gas as possible.
Our shelter will be renovated with materials and construction principles that provide more efficient insulation, whether on the walls, ceiling or floor.
Thermal insulation of buildings will be mainly for administrative, veterinary and staff buildings as well as for all spaces reserved for cats.
Dogs will not be forgotten and insulation will be placed in the renovated roofs and at floor and wall level in order to ensure more comfort for the animals without exaggerating the intervention in these premises which will be regularly open on the outside.
The roofs of all buildings on the site will be insulated, as will the walls which, where possible, will be insulated from the outside or by internal insulating partitions.
For new buildings, floors, walls and ceilings will be treated in order to comply with PEB (energy performance of buildings) requirements.
All exterior joinery, frames and doors will be replaced by high-performance thermal assemblies and will be equipped with glazing with increased solar protection in order to avoid overheating of highly exposed facades.
These insulation measures are not the only ones that will be implemented in order to meet current environmental imperatives and our desire to limit the operating costs of the refuge as much as possible.
- green roofs: all flat roofs on the site will be green.
The advantages are numerous, protection of waterproofing, blocking of UV rays, barrier against bad weather, protection against thermal shock, reduction of temperature variations and reduction of heat loss in winter.
This type of covering also allows the temporary retention of a significant portion of rainwater so as not to overload the public sewer in the event of a storm and therefore prevent the risk of flooding.
- Rainwater recovery:
installation of 8 rainwater tanks of 10,000L each which will be used to clean the building, water the animals, supply the toilets and laundry rooms or even water the outdoor plants.
These tanks will be added to those of 3,400 liters placed in each of the three new animal chalets located in the meadows of the shelter, bringing the total rainwater storage capacity to more than 90m³.
- Replacing our boiler:
The old oil heaters which dated from the construction of the shelter more than 40 years ago had become obsolete. The oil cisterns were neutralized and the heaters dismantled.
The building was connected to town gas and two new high-performance heaters were installed.
All domestic hot water and heating pipes will be replaced and insulated to minimize heat losses.
- Building ventilation:
All premises will be effectively ventilated.
For the administrative building and the veterinary building, both existing, an air return system will be combined with self-regulating grilles in the new frames.
For the Cats & “Rodents” areas, the new didactic room and the staff building, double-flow systems will be put in place to limit energy consumption while ensuring healthy air for occupants.
Finally, the dog areas will be equipped with air extraction machines to allow, at regular intervals, the renewal of the air in these areas.
- Photovoltaic panels:
In order to partially balance the energy needs of our refuge in relation to its expansion, all of the lighting will be LED type and we will ensure part of the electricity production by installing 79 photovoltaic panels on the best exposed roofs of our shelter.
This work is essential to continue collecting and housing animals in need in the best conditions. But these first adjustments weigh heavily on our budget
We invite our members and supporters, as well as all those who wish to help us, to send us their donations on the following account, specially created for this work: BE70 0682 0258 4325.
Thank you all for your help.
Donations are tax deductible at 45% from 40 euros per year, for example, a donation of 100€ actually only costs you 55€ after tax deduction. Small streams make big rivers, each donation, even the most modest, will allow us to move forward towards the success of our ambitious renovation project.