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ICF Construction Receives High Marks at Military School Project

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The Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) is charged with building the next generation of schools for children of military personnel. "DoDEA’s wide-sweeping educational facility reform stems from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ desire to fulfill two major priorities: foster an intelligent, more efficient, lighter, quicker military supported by 21st century soldiers; and attract the best and brightest military personnel by building the best school facilities possible for their children." To accomplish the latter goal, the project team relied on VMDO Architects, reports NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Gregg Lewis. VMDO recently completed a new Arlington, VA, Discovery Elementary School as the state's first Net Zero Energy School. Discovery Elementary was built using Insulated Concrete Forms and was built for less than the Arlington Country School Board had allocated for its construction.

VMDO’s ability to design a better, exceptionally high-performing building for under budget using cast-in-place concrete led directly to its work on the Quantico project, Lewis said. Bill Naegli, an ICF installer bidding on that portion of the project, explained, "Like the Discovery Elementary School project in Arlington, the Quantico project could achieve Net Zero Energy standing with the installation of photovoltaic panels." Although that is not currently part of the project scope, this development suggests that the Department of Defense, like an increasing number of school boards around the country, has begun to realize it can exceed project performance goals and create safer and more healthful learning environments for the nation’s children simply by specifying that those buildings be built using concrete and insulated concrete forms.

NRMCA has a Concrete Design Center that can work with developers to provide concrete solutions to building projects. Visit or contact Gregg Lewis at or 540-529-3893 for more information.

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