Dogs Trust Centre


The Dogs Trust’s new rehoming centre located within Central Cardiff, marked their first large scale development in Wales.

The scheme boasts world leading animal welfare facilities, with a total of 94 kennels, split between rehoming, specialist training and stray reclaim areas of the site. Large open exercise paddocks, along with meandering landscaped pathways ensure an enriching environment for the dogs, visitors and staff alike.

  • Client Dogs Trust
  • Completed Dec 2020
  • Contract Value £13m

The scheme consists of a number of strategically located pavilion buildings within the 8 acre brownfield site. The buildings to the north side of the site are open to the public, offering training, rehoming services and conference facilities, whilst the southern end of the development includes a Stray Reclaim building which helps to reunite lost dogs and owners, along with the ‘working’ buildings which are responsible for the specialist training and rehabilitation for dogs. The landscape design surrounding these specialist buildings provide a tranquil, stress free and enriching environment for the dogs, which aids in their development through the training process.

The facilities consist of 5 no specialist laundry rooms covering 3 no buildings to maintain good hygiene and clean canine bedding, sheets, towels, etc. throughout the centre. These spaces were installed with commercial quality washing machines and tumble driers by Girbau, specialist in this sector, including the necessary storage shelving and ventilation work.

Each building contains specific facilities to cater for dogs at particular times within their rehoming or training journey. A state of the art hydrotherapy unit, physiotherapy space, fully functioning veterinary suite and training rooms are just a handful of facilities that have been distributed across the site. Externally, the lead walking gravel pathways sweep between planted mounds to screen views for nervous dogs, whilst meadow grass has been planted adjacent to exercise paddocks, to encourage wildlife to be on view, with smells and textures sneaking through the mesh fences. Everything has been considered to offer the dogs as much enrichment and enjoyment as possible, and keep noses sniffing.

The scheme benefits from a fabric first approach. The roof, walls and floor U Values were all specified at enhanced levels, to limit heat losses and limit energy usage. The vast majority of the buildings are ventilated via natural means and process, utilising large opening roof lights connected to a BMS system, which measures for internal temperature and carbon dioxide levels. Where mechanical ventilation is required for more specialised zones, such as kennel extracts and the operating theatre within the veterinary suite, heat recovery systems were installed to limit energy loss.

The community education and general meeting rooms sit above the roof of the training hall, which was specified with a green roof, to showcase biodiversity, and continue the theme for the external areas, whilst offering glimpses for school children and the public when inside the buildings.