Estimating the Size of Your Animal Shelter
The formula below can provide an initial ballpark estimate of the size and cost of your new animal sheltering facility. Local governments usually require you to go through a more comprehensive needs-assessment process that leads to a more accurate and detailed set of size and cost estimates.
|Number of dogs housed||x||90-100 square-feet per dog||=||Estimated space requirements for dogs|
|Number of cats housed||x||45-50 square-feet per cat||=||Estimated space requirements for cats|
|Sum of the above totals||=||Total building square-footage|
|Total building square-footage||x||Building cost per square-foot
|=||Total building cost|
|Total building cost||x||Total project cost factor||=||Total project cost|
The above formula relies on the following assumptions:
- Most jurisdictions can estimate the total number of animals to be housed at a facility at any one time by analyzing the number of animals housed at the existing facility during previous years and then adjusting these figures on the basis of current data about the community including the number of other shelters in the area, existing animal control ordinances and programs, demographic trends for both people and animals, and the location of the new facility in relation to the community’s population base.
- The square-foot allowance includes space for administrative offices, education space, medical space (such as assessment and spay/neuter areas), storage, and support space.
- The national average building-cost-per-sf in 2000 was $150.
- In this example, building-related costs are estimated at 60% (a typical percentage) and other costs (grounds, architects’ fees, interest, etc.) are estimated at 40% for the complete project.
- To calculate the total project cost factor, divide the other costs (40) by the building costs (60) (result: .666) and add 1, where building costs are represented by the 1 and other costs are represented by the .67.
- Multiplying the total building cost by the project cost factor provides an estimate for the total project cost.
|100 dogs||x||100 s.f.||=||10,000 s.f.|
|50 cats||x||50 s.f.||=||2,500 s.f.|
|Total building s.f.||=||12,500 s.f.|
Source: Lawrence A. Gates, Animal Arts: Gates Hafen Cochrane Architects, Boulder, Colorado