ECO-Block School Wins More Awards

08 November 2004

Hanover, Penn. – Recognition is pouring in for the Clearview Elementary School, which earned a Gold LEED® rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. At an Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C., architect John Boecker, AIA, L.Robert Kimball & Associates accepted an “Exemplary Sustainable Building Award” from the Sustainable Building Industry Council. This category recognizes integration of the whole building design approach and cost-effectiveness.

The LEED® Gold rating was quite a remarkable accomplishment, since the building was only designed to meet the Silver rating. Though projects generally have a few points contested, Clearview sailed through with all credits intact, to achieved 42 out of 69 possible for a GOLD rating (39 to 51 points).

Energy savings was clearly a primary goal. Clearview achieved all 10 of the available points for “Optimizing Energy Performance.” Less than 10% of the LEED certified projects have achieved all 10 points under EAc1. This achievement is particularly significant in view of the life cycle costs of a building.

This 43,000 SF high performance K-4 elementary school completed in December 2002 has clearly shown that saving energy is affordable. Even with the many innovative features, such as ECO-Block insulating concrete forms for the exterior walls, the building was completed within 2.25% of the average Pennsylvania school cost.

ECO-Block Insulating Concrete Forms (ICF) was used for all the exterior walls. According to Boecker: ” ECO-Block provided us with a high-performance thermal envelope that contributed significantly to downsizing our HVAC system and reducing energy consumption.” Data taken on Feb. 17, 2004 identified that the heat loss was only 4 ½ degrees F during the night set back period. The heat pump was turned off at 1 pm and restarted at 5:30 am. In only 1 hr, the desired room temperature was regained. Outdoor temperatures ranged from 40°F to a low of 22°F.

Key energy saving factors in this building were the site orientation for use of passive solar, geothermal heating and cooling systems, as well as the use of day lighting. ECO-Block Insulating Concrete Forms were used for the exterior walls and some interior corridor walls. This mass enhanced insulated wall system performs at much higher levels than the nominal R-22 of the EPS (expanded polystyrene styrene) foam walls. The monolithic concrete wall also contributes to low air infiltration, allowing for more efficient use of HVAC systems and better control of indoor air quality. ECO-Block further contributes to LEED Credit areas due to 40% recycled material content and proximity of multiple manufacturing locations.

ECO-Block LLC is one of the world’s most innovative and experienced providers of insulating concrete form (ICF) technology. The Florida-based company manufactures and supplies the most versatile and technologically advanced ICF systems available for both commercial and residential construction. Use of ECO-Block’s ICF technology creates super-insulated, monolithic concrete walls that save energy, keep noise out and improve air quality. Building owners can enjoy energy savings of 30-50% a year. Greater fire, wind and weather resistance also help make ECO-Block homes more durable and secure than those using conventional construction methods. The use of renewable resources in ECO-Block ICF systems reduces reliance on wood products, helping protect our threatened forests. ICF technology is rapidly integrating into mainstream commercial and residential construction. In 1998, 20,000 new homes benefited from ICFs. Industry projections for 2003 estimate that approximately 100,000 homes will take advantage of ICF technology.

The Sustainable Building Industry Council (SBIC) is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the design, affordability, energy performance, and environmental soundness of America’s homes and buildings.

Vera Novak
Environmental Specialist
ECO-Block, LLC