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Kentucky Schools Use Latest Innovation in Concrete Construction

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Last week, representatives from the Build with Strength Building team, NUDURA, Holdfast Technologies, local Kentucky concrete producers, developers and school officials from across the country toured three Warren County (KY) schools that utilize the latest innovation in concrete construction – Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs). The schools, each of which are located in Bowling Green, were Richardsville Elementary, South Warren Middle & High School and Jennings Creek Elementary; the latter is still under construction. From improved energy-efficiency to lower life cycle costs, school districts across the country – especially Warren County schools in Kentucky, which has saved $11 million since 2003 – are seeing the benefits of building with ICFs, reports NRMCA Senior Director, Building Innovations, Michael Wymant.

“Having safe, well-maintained schools are part of the overall learning process,” said Mike Wilson, director of facilities for the Warren County public schools. “If there were a storm, I’d rather be (in this ICF school) than in my home.”

ICFs are a type of permanent concrete formwork that creates the external wall envelope of a building. Typically, it is standard reinforced concrete sandwiched between two faces of low absorptive, foam plastic insulating material. Its unique, lightweight structure allows crews to construct buildings more quickly and easily than conventional methods, without compromising the integrity of the structure.

“One of the biggest benefits we’ve seen since moving to ICFs is the speed of construction,” said Kenny Stanfield of Sherman Carter Barnhart, the architecture firm for Jennings Creek Elementary. “ICFs allow us to build rapidly, saving man-hours and costs in the long run.”

ICFs are quickly becoming the building material of choice for educational facilities due to their strength, energy efficiency and ease of use. Build with Strength is a first-of-its-kind program for the concrete industry, designed not only to support NRMCA members, their businesses, and the hard-working men and women of the concrete industry, but also to change the way people think about concrete construction versus direct competitors like soft-wood lumber.

For more information, contact Michael Wymant at The photo shown here is of the South Warren Middle & High School. Additional photos available upon request.


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