New Building Materials Are Changing New School Construction

Insulated Concrete Block delivers immediate and long-term benefits

Con­struct­ing an ener­gy-effi­cient school is one of the best invest­ments a school dis­trict can make. The key to that invest­ment is build­ing a school with mate­ri­als that con­serve ener­gy, reduce costs and pro­vide a clean­er, more com­fort­able envi­ron­ment for stu­dents, teach­ers and staff. Con­struct­ing a bet­ter build­ing enve­lope is crit­i­cal to build­ing a school that achieves these goals, meets new code require­ments and reduces oper­at­ing costs. A bet­ter build­ing enve­lope starts with insu­lat­ed con­crete block. Bau­tex Block is an insu­lat­ed con­crete block used to con­struct schools and com­mer­cial build­ings that pro­vides ther­mal and sound insu­la­tion that exceeds cur­rent build­ing codes, improves com­fort and air qual­i­ty, and deliv­ers excep­tion­al fire and storm safe­ty – all while offer­ing sig­nif­i­cant year-over-year cost-sav­ings to the school dis­trict that by sav­ing mil­lions of dol­lars over the life of the build­ing.

Bau­tex Block is a light­weight, mod­u­lar and mor­tar­less wall sys­tem where blocks are stacked and then filled with rein­forced con­crete to cre­ate an insu­lat­ed struc­tur­al wall. The wall sys­tem is con­struct­ed using the same labor, tools and tech­niques as those used in tra­di­tion­al con­crete mason­ry con­struc­tion. Plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tems are typ­i­cal­ly added after the walls are con­struct­ed. Bau­tex Block is chang­ing the way new schools are built today, and how those schools will ben­e­fit their com­mu­ni­ties for the next 40 – 50 years. From increas­ing ener­gy effi­cien­cy and reduc­ing the car­bon foot­print to pro­vid­ing a clean­er, health­i­er and safer learn­ing envi­ron­ment. Per­haps most impor­tant, the mon­ey saved from reduc­ing oper­a­tional costs is sub­stan­tial over the life­time of the build­ing.

Bau­tex Block enables builders to con­struct a sim­ple, sin­gle, inte­grat­ed wall assem­bly that cre­ates an air­tight, con­tin­u­ous­ly insu­lat­ed build­ing enve­lope that pro­vides sub­stan­tial­ly high­er lev­els of per­for­mance and safe­ty. Design teams should con­sid­er the fol­low­ing points when eval­u­at­ing Bau­tex Block ver­sus oth­er build­ing mate­ri­als for school build­ing projects.

FIRST COSTS: Speed and ease of con­struc­tion are the pri­ma­ry ben­e­fits of con­struct­ing with Bau­tex Block, which pro­vides bet­ter build­ing per­for­mance in a sin­gle, inte­grat­ed assem­bly. The large, light­weight blocks are stacked quick­ly with­out mor­tar and are installed by a sin­gle trade using less-skilled labor than oth­er tra­di­tion­al wall sys­tems. Over­all cost of instal­la­tion is com­pet­i­tive, but the sav­ings in project time­line can be sig­nif­i­cant.

OPERATING COSTS: Bau­tex Block is an ener­gy-effi­cient R‑14 con­tin­u­ous­ly insu­lat­ed mass wall that exceeds the 2015 IECC ener­gy codes for cli­mate zones 1 through 6 by as much as 246 per­cent. The sys­tem is very durable with prop­er fin­ish­es and is not sus­cep­ti­ble to mold, rot or degra­da­tion in per­for­mance. With Bau­tex Block, no addi­tion­al main­te­nance is required over time.

HEALTH & SAFETY: The air and mois­ture bar­ri­er typ­i­cal­ly installed with the Bau­tex Block sys­tem helps to elim­i­nate pol­lu­tants and aller­gens from infil­trat­ing the class­room envi­ron­ment. The sys­tem also pro­vides one of the high­est fire safe­ty rat­ings of any wall sys­tem, and meets FEMA stan­dards for hur­ri­cane and tor­na­do safe room con­struc­tion.

SUSTAINABILITY: Bau­tex Blocks are excep­tion­al­ly effi­cient in the use of mate­ri­als and uti­lize 28 per­cent recy­cled mate­ri­als by weight. For projects in Texas, Okla­homa, Arkansas and Louisiana, design teams can take advan­tage of pur­chas­ing local and region­al mate­ri­als. Due to the longevi­ty of con­crete con­struc­tion, build­ings that use insu­lat­ed con­crete block like Bau­tex Block can expe­ri­ence long life­cy­cles.

IMPROVED LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: With the instal­la­tion of a flu­id-applied air and mois­ture bar­ri­er, Bau­tex Block walls pro­vide demon­stra­bly high­er lev­els of air tight­ness and ener­gy effi­cien­cy. Con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion and ther­mal mass also con­tribute to a sta­ble and com­fort­able indoor tem­per­a­ture and high noise reduc­tion.

Ben­e­fits of Build­ing with Bau­tex Block include:

  • Dura­bil­i­ty – Rein­forced con­crete con­struc­tion
  • Ener­gy Effi­cien­cy – Con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion + ther­mal mass + air bar­ri­ers
  • Fire Pro­tec­tion – Four-hour load bear­ing fire rat­ing (QAI # B1075)
  • Storm Safe­ty – FEMA-rat­ed hur­ri­cane and tor­na­do safe room mate­r­i­al
  • Sound Reduc­tion – Com­pos­ite insu­la­tion + con­crete mass
  • Recy­cled Mate­ri­als – Min­i­mum 28% by weight

Down­load a White Paper, Lead­er­ship in School Con­struc­tion, to learn more.