The new 112,980-square-foot Larkspur Elementary School is located on a 16-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, 189 insulated concrete panels were used to construct this project. American Constructors’ self-performed all the tilt-up construction while another subcontractor performed all slab-on-grade and site concrete.
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 an aesthetic variation that also requires little-to-no maintenance. Additionally, we utilized a “continuous” interlocking board formliner, which provided a seamless finished look without the need for sacking, patching, rubbing, or grinding.
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.
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.