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Monta Jane Akin Elementary School

Project summary provided by submitting company.

The new 110,418-square-foot elementary school is located on a 21-acre site and includes 50 classrooms, special program rooms, computer labs, an art room, performing arts space, a library, a kitchen, a cafeteria, a multipurpose room, and administrative conference and office spaces. The school also incorporates neighborhood teaching spaces with science teaching areas and reading nooks, which create a flexible atmosphere to support the school district's learning model.

Tilt-up construction was used throughout the entire campus to achieve a durable and attractive wall system that is also energy efficient and cost-effective. In total, 185 insulated concrete panels were used to construct this project.

The building is composed of insulated tilt-up exterior wall panels, which provide a high level of structural integrity and an increased resistance to mold, fire, and severe weather. The insulated panels also provide a high thermal resistance factor, which creates energy-efficiency building envelopes. The exterior design is a combination of thin brick, sand-blasted concrete, and a board form liner finish. The architectural wythe provides aesthetic variation that also requires little-to-no maintenance.

Many of the interior walls are solid, load-bearing tilt-up panels. The combination of exterior and interior tilt-up wall construction inherently provides excellent resistance of the building to lateral loads without the need for braced or moment resistant frames. The tilt-up panels act as shear walls to resist lateral loads on the buildings. The panels also function as a damper to prevent sound transmission from one functional space to another.

Successful collaboration and coordination on this project were essential. American Constructors used a comprehensive modeling technique to anticipate issues in the tilt-up process and held weekly meetings with the crane company and erectors while the panels were being lifted. Sequencing of casting and erection of panels was carefully considered for crane access and brace locations. American Constructors' self-performed all the tilt-up construction while another subcontractor performed all slab-on-grade and site concrete.

This school district has some of the most energy-efficient buildings in the nation but has chosen to certify their facilities through ENERGY STAR versus the LEED process. To earn an ENERGY STAR Building Label, the facility must be certified by a licensed engineer as being among the lowest 25 percent of buildings nationwide in energy use per square foot and must maintain the highest standards for the quality of its internal environment. The use of insulated tilt-up wall panels provides a higher thermal resistance factor, thus increasing building energy efficiency by reducing the operational heating and cooling costs. The district continues to utilize tilt-up construction because of the high performance and energy savings they achieve with this wall system.

Main banner image for Monta Jane Akin Elementary School

Project Location

Leander, TX
United States


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Project Images


Project Team (TCA Members)

General Contractor:
Concrete Contractor:
American Constructors LP
Pickett Kelm & Associates Inc
Brian Mihealsick
American Constructors

Project Specifics

Project Category:
Building Types:
High School
Brick (Full)
Brick (Thin)
Concrete (Exposed Aggregate)
Concrete (Raw/Sealed)
Angled Panels (Elevation-Edge/Shape)
Angled Panels (Plan-Orientation/Position)
Cantilevered Panels
Embedded Items
Interlocking Panels
Metal Panels
Post Applied (Interior)
Sandwich Panel (Non-Composite)
Number of Floors:
Number of Panels:
185 panels
Tilt-Up Wall Area:
76,506 sq ft (7,107 sq m)
Total Floor Area:
110,418 sq ft (10,258 sq m)
Project Footprint:
93,440 sq ft (8,681 sq m)
Tallest Panel:
44 ft 5 in (13.54 m)
Widest Panel:
62 ft 2 in (18.95 m)
Largest Panel:
1,034 sq ft (96.1 sq m)
Heaviest Panel:
105,700 lbs (47,945 kg)
Tallest Cantilever:
36 ft 2 in (11.02 m)
Longest Spandrel:
39 ft 8 in (12.09 m)