July 16th, 2024

Local veterinarian looks to develop net zero clinic

By Troy Bannerman - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on February 24, 2023.

Local veterinarian Jacob Adserballe is hoping to develop a new net zero clinic.

Local veterinarian Jacob Adserballe has an exciting project in the works – a new net zero clinic.

Adserballe has worked as a veterinarian in Lethbridge and Pincher Creek for most of his professional life and is now a veterinary business consultant based out of Pincher Creek.

In citing his experience in the field he said, “my most recent work in Lethbridge was designing and building the Family Pet Hospital and 24 Hour Emergency Centre on the corner of Mayor Magrath Dr. and Six Ave S. And Idid work and operate that since 2010. I actually sold it in 2017. Since then I’ve started this Veterinary Practice Consulting Company, Vetshield.

We are actually consulting, like in business consulting, veterinary business consulting in Calgary. And we’ve also started a new clinic in

Pincher Creek, where Vetshield helped out a couple of veterinarians start a clinic there. So, I am practicing one day a week in Pincher Creek, but I do mostly veterinary business consulting mostly in Calgary.”

Adserballe has put a lot of work into his next project.

“I have a construction company called Alberta Property Management. And we actually built the Family Pet Hospital in 2009 and 2010 and so this company has done a few projects. And we’ve always been very interested in building good facilities that are strong and can last. It probably has something to do with the fact that I’m originally from Denmark, and there’s a lot of big old concrete and brick buildings, like old castles and things like that,” he said.

“We will build it with ICF. ICF stands for insulated styrofoam construction. So you get a very strong wall when you do that and it’s highly insulated. And that’s kind of what has gotten us going. And we’ve experimented with solar in the past. . . . we’re committed to making this a net zero building. Net zero for us means that we qualify for the zero carbon building design standard. That is one qualification. And then the other certification that’s net zero is ‘net zero’ energy use,” he said.

Solar panels will be used for power and geothermal for the heat loops for the heat.

“We have already drilled the holes in the ground. They go 210 feet down and come back up and there are 30 holes like that. That’s where we get the heat from, is from the ground. So, it kind of works like a refrigerator. You know how the refrigerator gives off heat on the back and cools on the inside? That’s how this works.

“In the wintertime, we take the heat from the back of the refrigerator, if you want. In the summer time we turn it around and take the cold. So, it comes out of the ground like that. It’s obviously powered by solar panels.”

At night, the electrical grid is used as a battery. In daytime during certain months of the year, such as summer when sun is plentiful, the facility might over-produce electricity which then goes into the grid, Adserballe explained.

In winter when more power is used, a little energy is drawn from the grid, he said.

“But overall we’ll be net zero on average throughout the year.

The clinic has +R40 insulation in the walls and +R80 in the ceilings, meaning it’s extremely well insulated.

“We’ll also have in-floor heating. And the other two certifications that we’ll have is a LEED certification. LEED is all about energy efficiency, and regular ESG, Environmental Social Governance, factors. And the other certification that is less known is WELL certification. The WELL certification is all about safety and wellness and comfort of the occupants of the building. For example, having stairs, that there is safety, that there is daylight, that there are temperature controls, lighting controls, and we’ll have a special plant room for breaks.

“It’s all about the amenities on the interior of the building for safety, comfort, and wellness. So, that is what the WELL certification is all about. Thoseare the four certifications that we’re wanting and going for. And it definitely costs extra.

“Our goal really is that this will be a prototype building, meaning that other commercial professional buildings can copy this and as there are more built of them the price comes down.”

As for the next steps in bringing this project into reality, Adserballe said, “We have a building permit from the City of Lethbridge. We are currently in the process of receiving bids from contractors. We are hopingto go in the ground in April. . . Depending on the contractor and the supply chain, we are hoping to have it locked up by the end of the year and in business at the beginning of 2024.

“We are hoping to build a very friendly team that focuses on high quality medicine, and top quality care for animals. And they’re owners. We are looking for, just because this is an unusually expensive construction project we are actually looking for investors.”

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