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CTA Takes ‘LEED’ On Building Sustainable Schools

| August 26, 2014 | 0 Comments
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Rendering of Park Avenue elementary school

Webster, MA – CTA Construction is installing a wide array of sustainable elements in the new Park Avenue Elementary School in Webster, aiming for a LEED Silver rating and a projected 41% savings in heating and cooling costs.

Environmentally friendly projects now account for a large majority of CTA’s business, placing the Waltham-based contractor among the ranks of the greenest contractors nationwide.

The $33 million, 109,567sf  elementary school, serving students in pre-kindergarten to second grade, is the latest of many projects by the firm that contain numerous sustainable elements.

For CTA, green building starts with the choice and source of materials, an emphasis on recycling construction waste, and a commitment to hand over a facility with clean air. With an eye on the LEED for School Silver standards, the company is using construction materials with 10% recycled content and 10% extracted, processed and manufactured regionally on Park Avenue Elementary.

In addition to the use of certified wood, composite wood and agrifiber products, low-emitting adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, and flooring systems are being used

To reduce waste sent to landfills, CTA has a goal of diverting 75% of construction debris to be recycled, and is currently tracking to exceed that goal by 15%. Prior to delivering the building to the school district, CTA will test the building air quality or perform a full-building flush out to remove air-borne pollutants.

The many sustainable elements in Park Avenue Elementary are attributed to the work of Dore & Whittier Architects, Inc. of Burlington, Vt and Newburyport, Mass.  Dore & Whittier is also highly ranked (#87) on the list for the top 100 Green Architecture Firms by ENR. For CTA, the many green elements offer new approaches to the familiar functions of schools and other public spaces.

The owner project manager  is  Hill International

The Park Avenue Elementary School, to achieve LEED Silver, will be an energy-efficient exterior envelope to reduce heating costs. The roof design will use material with high reflecting and high heat emissive properties on 75%  of the area to reduce cooling costs.

Other green features will include:

  • High efficiency and low-flow fixtures to reduce water use by 35%.
  • Only refrigerants free of chlorofluorocarbons used in equipment.
  • High-efficiency lighting and use of daylight in 90% of the building spaces.
  • Classrooms and other learning spaces designed for optimum acoustics and to minimize noise pollution.
  • An HVAC system, with a direct-digital control system, monitoring airflow, filtering outside and return air, and measuring carbon dioxide levels.
  • Independent exhaust systems for rooms such as janitor closets, laundry, copier rooms and industrial art shops, where hazardous gases or chemicals may be present.
  • Separate drainage systems leading to proper disposal for areas with chemical mixing.
  • Permanent grills or grates to capture dirt at high-volume entrances.
  • Areas designated for the collection and storage of recyclables.

Outside of the school, the parking area, with fewer spaces, will encourage alternative transportation with preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.  It will offer secure bicycle storage with shower and changing facilities to encourage cycling by faculty and staff to and from school.

Storm water will be controlled and sediment removed through natural, onsite treatment systems. The landscaping will not require irrigation, and no permanent irrigation system will be installed.

The new school is being built in three phases, adjacent to the location of a still-occupied facility that dates to the 1960s. The project is scheduled for completion next year.

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