Alamosa, CO Schools Receive First Runner Up in the 2010 ICF Builder Awards for Sustainable New Construction

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Alamosa School District in Alamosa, Colorado ties for first runner up in the commercial, heavy division of the 2010 ICF Awards at the World of Concrete conference for their new schools, beating out numerous top projects for the year.

New Alamosa Schools

“The new schools mean so much to (our community),” said Rob Alejo, Superintendent of Schools for Alamosa School District. “The ICF construction will save money so that we can put more of our budget into teaching rather than utility bills.

Alamosa School District in Alamosa, Colorado ties for first runner up in the commercial, heavy division of the 2010 ICF Builder Awards at the World of Concrete conference for their new K-2 and 3-5 schools. The national award recognizes building projects that utilize Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) construction. The Neenan Company, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, is the design-builder of the two, 72,000 square feet schools.

An ICF is a system of concrete forms that stay in place after the concrete pour and become part of the wall structure. The form adds insulation to the building, which reduces the heating and cooling costs. Energy models show 72% reduction in heating costs with ICF compared to conventional metal stud framing.

“The new schools mean so much to the community of Alamosa, and we’re honored to receive this recognition,” said Rob Alejo, Superintendent of Schools for Alamosa School District. “The ICF construction will save money so that we can put more of our budget into teaching rather than utility bills. Even more, these are beautiful schools that will enhance learning and student achievement, and where students, teachers and community members will enjoy spending time.”

The total project size of 145,000 square feet is larger than the typical ICF project. Neenan designers worked closely with Reward Wall Systems to ensure the use of ICF would not inhibit or dictate design aesthetics, but would instead align with the high-design and high-function vision the school district had for the projects.

The new school campus consists of two identical schools that are connected by playgrounds and landscaping. Designers focused on clean, modern and welcoming design themes for Alamosa’s young students. The exterior features varying facades and rooflines to inspire whimsy. In addition, the team designed cantilevered ICF walls with lower rooflines to create more thermal energy and energy efficiency.

Inside the school, Neenan interior designers subtly use the colors of the rainbow to aid in wayfinding for children who navigate the buildings daily. Nearly every space in the schools has daylighting and outdoor views, which is proven to increase student achievement.

The Colorado Department of Education funded a majority of the school projects with the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program. They challenged Alamosa School District to reduce energy costs and create high performance schools that will serve the community for at least 50 years. The schools will be open in August of 2011 and are submitting for LEED Gold Certification.

Contact:

Mackenzie Daley, The Neenan Company
(303) 990-4674, mackenzie(dot)daley(at)neenan(dot)com

About Alamosa School District

Alamosa School District’s mission is to maintain a culture of educational excellence that: Promotes exemplary academic success; Develops confidence and abilities to embrace the challenges of a rapidly changing world; Encourages personal growth; Nurtures individual talents; Fosters a culture of respect that values and celebrates diversity and; Provides a safe and healthy environment.

About The Neenan Co.

As an integrated design-build firm, The Neenan Company believes that the built environment is about more than just buildings – it’s about what buildings enable our clients to do. Specializing in the design and construction of education facilities, Neenan has completed more than 80 school projects throughout Colorado, including the new elementary schools in Alamosa. The Neenan Company is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado with more than 200 employees. For more information, visit Neenan.com.

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