Providing a new elementary school for this fast growing Austin-area suburb, the school district desired a facility that would be energy efficient, highly resistant to mold, offer at least 50 years of durability, and express the style and stature of the existing structures in the district.
Tilt-Up panels were used for the bearing interior corridor walls, which reduced the structural steel required for the building by 34 percent. The site for the school was changed right before construction was to begin, and the new site had an undrillable rock layer. The soils engineer and civil engineer worked together to develop an economical redesign of the foundation system.
As one of the wettest winters on record, more than 20 work days were lost to rain, but the school’s opening date remained the same. To expedite the schedule, two separate crews fabricated the panels – one on the two-story classroom wing of the school and the other on the one-story multi-purpose/cafeteria/library wing.
Responding to the district’s need for energy efficiency and low maintenance costs, the project incorporated water source heat pumps on a mechanical mezzanine. The units are sized so that each classroom has an independent air comfort supply. The exterior Tilt-Up panels also feature 2-inch-thick expanded polystyrene insulation integrally cast into the panels, which minimizes the potential for mold growth.
Architectural treatments include brick in two contrasting colors, a local standard concrete mix with river rock and gray cement that gave the effect of normal brick mortar and a medium sandblast finish on the exposed concrete brought out the rich natural tan color and sparkle of the aggregate.
Each panel was unique and had to be thought out and detailed individually.
Tilt-Up provided a much more durable finished wall surface.
Deemed a tremendous success, the design and construction team were able to overcome the site change, foundation redesign and rain to have building completed in time for the start of the school year.
Austin, TX 78641
This project was a 2006 TCA Tilt-Up Achievement Award winner.
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