New school construction focused on building envelope performance

New school construction focused on building envelope performance

The front entrance of Battle High School. Photo courtesy of IWR Building Systems

When the Columbia Public School District in Columbia, Mo., needed a fourth public high school to handle the growing student population, campus planners decided to build a state-of-the-art educational facility with a high performance exterior façade. The new school, named Muriel Battle High School but commonly referred to simply as Battle High School, was intended to fulfill the need created by the 20 percent population growth in Columbia between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.

The finished school, attended by students in grades nine through 12, is now on the east edge of the city of Columbia, according to building enclosure contractor IWR Building Systems.

Modern building exteriors, including the one designed and constructed for this high school, must meet strict standards in terms of weather resistance and energy efficiency. To meet these standards, campus planning officials required IWR to provide an attractive, durable exterior solution that would successfully mitigate rain, snow and other environmental conditions. The enclosure was also required to provide adequate insulation to reduce utility costs and stress on the HVAC system.

The resulting metal panel system installed on the high school’s exterior is composed of 33,900 square feet of an insulated metal panel system, as well as 4,500 linear feat of additional roof coping, 3,900 square feet of soffit materials and 1,500 square feet of non-insulated siding.

The exterior of Battle High School can be described as modern and aesthetically appealing, with striking curves and bold angles provided by the framing and segmented metal panels that compose the exterior façade, according to IWR.

Energy efficiency

The exterior of the high school is an important component in ensuring that the school can operate in an energy efficient manner. There are a number of factors that contribute to energy efficiency in a large facility such as the school — almost all related to the quality and thermal efficiency of the building envelope system. The systems must mitigate numerous environmental conditions simultaneously with a comprehensive building enclosure design that addresses all factors associated with energy efficiency.

To optimize the energy efficiency of this project, the IWR specified a factory foamed metal insulation panel with a thickness of two inches, providing an approximate R14 insulation value. Additionally, the exterior contractor ensured that quality air seals were securely in place around all exterior openings, including windows, doors, ducts, vents and intersections of building materials such as roofing, siding, and the foundation. All of the elements were strategically integrated to form a building envelope that is completely sealed against exterior air intrusions, as well as highly insulated against heat radiation transfer from interior to exterior and vice versa.

Weather resistance

To achieve optimal weather resistance on Battle High School’s building envelope, a fully integrated, weather-tight enclosure was installed. The Centria Formawall Dimension Series (FWDS) insulated metal panel system used on the project is a water-tight system with rubber gasket material used at the vertical reveal joints. Each panel came with factory applied caulk in the horizontal joinery, and the end joint detail of the system is designed to set the ends of the panels in a bead of caulking that marries with the horizontal joints, making each panel an individual sealed module. While FWDS insulated metal is not considered a rainscreen, the interior liner sealant details ensure the interior face of the panel is fully sealed against air and water. This advanced system forms a tight seal that effectively protects the building from the intrusion of exterior weather elements.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Educational Buildings, Exteriors, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Insulation, Interiors, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Trends and Statistics, Technology, Thermal Envelope - Building Envelope, Urban Planning and Design


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