Potter League for Animals

LID Type: Green Roof, Cistern, Permeable Pavement

Use: Commercial

Installer: Behan Brothers, Inc. (General Contractor) and Dustin Brackney, Apex Green Roofs (Green Roof)

Designer/Developer: ARQ Architects (Architect) and Northeast Engineers & Consultants (Civil/Structural Engineer)

Install Date: 2008

Address: 87 Oliphant Lane

Town: Middletown

Zip Code: 02842

County: Newport


Christie Smith

Executive Director, Potter League for Animals

401.846.0592 x115


Concern for the environment, sustainability, and the impact of conventional construction practices guided many aspects of development for the Potter League facilities. Potter League officials chose to “go green” for the new shelter due to its location off Oliphant Lane, which is adjacent wetlands and in the vicinity of Bailey Brook, which eventually feeds into North Easton’s Pond, a drinking water source for Aquidneck Island. As such, there are Department of Environmental Management (DEM) wetland preservation restrictions on the building location and footprint. However, by building in the same location on the same site, the Potter League for Animals did not impact any additional areas of land that were not currently disturbed by the existing facilities. Overall, the new facilities resulted in 82% reduction in potable water use and preserved 92% of the site for open space and natural habitat.

The Potter League for Animals incorporates a wide range of LID features in its design, including permeable gravel paving to absorb runoff, and a rainwater recovery system that directs rainwater from roof surfaces into a 15,000 gallon underground cistern. The stored water is treated and circulated throughout the building in a non-potable distribution system, so that it can be reused to flush toilets and clean animals’ cages. Additional water conservation measures include low-flow water fixtures and dual-flush toilets, as well as the use of native species in the landscape, which require no permanent ongoing irrigation system.

Potter League’s new shelter also incorporates a green roof, Newport County’s first, and perhaps the most important (and largest) component in the environmentally friendly facility. The 3,000 square foot roof, installed in the summer of 2008, is a Roofscapes, Inc. un-irrigated intensive system. The contractor, Dustin Brackney of Apex Green Roofs (Somerville, MA), selected a large palette of lavenders, alliums, sedums, and grasses, specifically for their tolerance to wind, heat, and drought. Together, the plants act as a shield, insulating the facility, absorbing sunshine, reducing greenhouse gases, and limiting rainwater runoff. Additionally, the roof will not have to be replaced as often as a standard roof, as it will not break down as quickly under the glare of ultraviolet rays.

At the time of its designation from the United States Green Building Council, the Potter League for Animals Board of Directors and staff were proud to announce that their new facility ranked as the first building in Rhode Island to achieve LEED certification at the Gold level, and the first animal shelter in the United States to be awarded LEED Gold.

Potter League for Animals Green Roof
Potter League for Animals
Potter League for Animals green roof

Address: 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, 02842