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.