Buildings on a Budget Can Be Strong and Sustainable

Tracie SimmonsConstruction, Green Projects

Insulated Concrete Forms Construction

Construction using Insulated Concrete Forms from Weston Miles Architects

Budgets for the construction of new schools – as well as many other building types – is often very tight. In California at least many school districts have focused on relocatable buildings as a way to increase the capacity of a school without developing an entirely new campus or permanent building structure.

The funny thing about this is that these relocatable, temporary buildings are often still in use 20, 30, even 40 years later. But what is the alternative?

Lesley Miles, AIA, LEED AP, of Weston Miles Architects has spent years looking for an alternative to portables. What she’s found is a method to create simpler classroom buildings that are both sustainable and cost effective.

On a recent project for Opal Cliffs School District in Capitola, California, Leslie and her team designed and built a new 4-classroom school that was strong, sustainable and on budget. How did they pull it off?  They used Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) as the cornerstone for the design and construction of the school.

“ICF buildings are quickly constructed with a modular system and are capable of a short construction schedule,” says Lesley Miles. Best of all, using an ICF system to construct a building provides for better sustainability, improved acoustical properties, and more energy efficiency. Other benefits of Insulated Concrete Forms include:

  • Green construction and materials
  • Reduced HVAC requirements
  • A solid, substantial feel
  • Quick, clean, quality construction

To learn more, visit Weston Miles Architects.