Suite Paws Pet Resort & Spa

Durham, North Carolina


Size of Facility

11,275 Sq. Ft Heated; sq. ft. plus 8050 sq. ft. (Outdoor runs and play yard.)


Raleigh & Durham North Carolina

Start & End Dates

July 2013- December 2014

Architecture Team & Design Plan Process

Goals:   The goal was to build a state-of-the-art kennel and cattery to serve the Chapel Hill-Durham and surrounding areas with boarding and supervised daycare where pets are loved and cared for in the cleanest and safest environment. The facility cares for both holiday and daily boarding needs plus offers a doggie daycare program allowing dogs a chance to run and play with other dogs under careful supervision helping to improve behavior and fitness. Indoor and outdoor amenities accommodate all weather conditions.

Design Considerations:  This project involved the purchase of an existing high bay structure previously used as an adventure park building.  The program called for creating an inviting spa-like image and adding 5900 sq. ft. doubling the size of the building.  Boarding was needed for approximately 90 dogs of different sizes and family groups.  To accommodate the boarding and daycare population, around 8,000 sq. ft. of covered and open, outside fence play yards and kennel spaces was needed. The site included many environment considerations including wetlands and unstable soils.


Key Results:

  1. Added a stone column, supported drop-off canopy to give the Suite Paws Kennel and Spa a hotel-like entrance. Designed functional interior spaces to accommodate grooming; family pet suites; pet rubbing room; and, indoor daycare playrooms for large and small dog separation.  Used natural light throughout the main family suite- and other kennel areas that are separated to help create a quieter environment.
  2. Provided outdoor play areas for daycare dogs that offer shade and sunny areas with doggie swimming pool for larger dogs, and baby swimming pools for smaller breeds. This outdoor space also offers covered and open-sky, outdoor dog runs.
  3. Created interior areas that are fully air conditioned with a colorful decor.

User details:

  1. Installed high-performance HVAC systems that provide large of amounts of fresh air to meet the needs of a kennel. Energy efficiency is greatly enhanced via an “energy-wheel” recovery system that tempers the incoming fresh air with the exhaust air denoting to savings in energy dollars and consumption.
  2. Installed a Central Wet Vac system for wash-down and clean-up of floors and kennels that use environmentally friendly cleaners and minimal amounts of water.
  3. Used high performance roof insulation system on all new roofs to lower AC operating costs.
  4. Utilized clerestory daylight techniques at the west edge of the daycare and boarding areas to keep the space bright while reducing heat gain from the afternoon sun.


Architectural Design, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing and Construction Administration.


  1. Coulter Jewell and Thames, Civil and Landscape Architecture, Durham NC
  2. Burke Design Group, Mechanical and Electrical, Raleigh, NC