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Public Elementary School First In California to Achieve LEED Certification

Los Paseos Elementary School, in a joint project with the Morgan Hill Unified School District and the City of San Jose has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for their energy saving multi- purpose building. The building is the first Elementary School building in California to achieve a LEED rating. The project was successful in attaining LEED Certification by receiving 29 points total in the six categories of: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation Design Process. The school achieved substantial savings over Title 24 (the energy code benchmark for the state) that will result in energy savings of 25% per year.

It was constructed with Arxx insulated concrete forms, known in the industry as ICFs, an increasingly popular energy-saving building technology that replaces wood framing with specially insulated polystyrene forms and poured-in-place concrete.

LEED is the Green Building Rating System, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which provides a list of guidelines for environmentally sustainable construction.

Charles Weston, AIA, LEED A.P. and Lesley Miles, AIA of Weston Miles Architects Inc., specified insulated concrete for the exterior walls of the new building to obtain LEED points in the six categories. Arxx received the nod due to unparalleled code approvals and development of comprehensive testing data necessary to gain stringent State of California Division of State Architect (DSA) approvals. This sustainable and green build construction project was managed by TBI Inc, with structural engineering by Duquette Engineering and installation by Insulated Concrete Form Contractor Jim Deering of Advanced Building Technologies.

Although Arxx wall systems had been approved and specified on two previous DSA projects, the Oakland DSA office required third party testing on two mock- up walls prior to construction. Dynamic Consultants Inc. of Mountain View, CA, provided a 31- page report on the Arxx mock-up walls. The report showed excellent consolidation and impressive concrete core strengths taken from the wall. An average of 6,700 PSI was attained on 3000 PSI mix design. "I am a believer having seen the Arxx forms in action," stated Clifford Craig, the Registered Engineer who performed the testing.

On site special inspection service is provided by Stewart Inspection Services. Chuck Stewart, who has also become a fan said, "I wasn't sure at first, but now after seeing it perform, I will be the first to tell anybody. This is a better way to build."

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