2008-11-20 / News

Newport Animal Hospital goes high tech green with expansion

By Jeff McDonough

Dr. Jack Civic and practice manager Suzette Antonellis stand in front of the new addition to the Newport Animal Hospital in Middletown. On the roof are the solar panels that will generate 20 percent of the building's electrical needs. Photo by Jeff McDonough Dr. Jack Civic and practice manager Suzette Antonellis stand in front of the new addition to the Newport Animal Hospital in Middletown. On the roof are the solar panels that will generate 20 percent of the building's electrical needs. Photo by Jeff McDonough The Newport Animal Hospital has nearly completed construction of a new state-of-the-art addition at its facility on Valley Road in Middletown.

Owner Dr. Jack Civic of Jamestown said he's proud of the fact that the new building is environmentally friendly. The 8,300 square foot expansion to the original 4,600 square foot building includes a new welcoming reception area, exam rooms, offices and a five-star pet boarding facility.

The first thing you notice about the new structure is the array of solar panels covering the south-facing roof. Dr. Civic said the solar panels should generate 34,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough electricity to power about three homes annually. He estimates that the solar panels will provide about 20 percent of the building's electrical needs.

The solar project was partially funded through a state grant from the R.I. Office of Renewable Energy, federal tax credits and capital investment tax credits, he said, adding that payback on the project is estimated to be five years.

The new addition features radiant floor heat. Heat is provided by a natural gas furnace — its size not much bigger than a kitchen dishwasher — that is an incredible 97 percent efficient, Dr. Civic said.

The overhead lighting is also green and employs the new lowenergy use dimmable fluorescents.

But the real highlight of the new addition is the full-service pet boarding facility. "I wanted to create a boarding facility that when people left their pets here, they would feel the same way they do when leaving their pets at home when they go to work," Dr Civic said.

"I think you'll find that our new boarding facility is unlike any other in New England," he added.

The Newport Animal Hospital staff will pamper pets from the moment they arrive. The boarding facility has radiant heat floors, with thermostats built into the sealed epoxy granite floors. The glass-enclosed kennels are top notch. Suites are available for those pets that like to be together. Smaller enclosures are available for small dogs and cats. Relaxing music is provided for the critters. A little Mozart, please?

Rooms that house the kennels have an air/heat exchanger system that brings in fresh air from the outside. The exchanger will completely recycle the air in the room 17 times an hour, and is triggered by a sensor that detects carbon dioxides levels in the room from the animals' breath.

There's a play facility outside so pooches will have an opportunity to romp. Escape is virtually impossible due to the design of the play area. Pets can also have a fluff and buff, with bathing and manicure services available.

Dr. Civic said the Newport Animal Hospital, which includes the Jamestown Animal Clinic on Narragansett Avenue, employs five veterinarians and 25 support staff. He purchased one-half of business from Dr. Munafo of Jamestown in the early 1990s and bought the remaining half about five years ago.

Learn more at www.newportanimalhospital. com.

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