Roger L. Putnam Vocational High School
The new Putnam Technical Vocational High School in Springfield, MA will replace the current 73 year old facility with a state-of-the-art facility that has been designed to meet the Massachusetts Collaborative for High Performance Schools (MA CHPS) standards. MA CHPS is a program that is actively advancing the design and construction of schools known as “high performance, green schools” that reduce the use of energy, water, and other materials while lowering financial burden of building schools.
Construction has begun on the new school, which is 315,000 sq.ft. and will accommodate 1,400 students from grades 9-12. Here they will be able to choose from 22 vocational programs including automotive repair, health, medical technology and robotics just to name a few. The school will take advantage of energy saving mechanical systems, reduced water consumption, improved indoor air quality and natural light. The total construction cost for the school is $87,373,085.00, about 27 million less than originally estimated because of the current economic climate according to Robert Del Vento, Jr. of Coreslab Structures, (Conn.) Inc.
The schools exterior consists of 37 ft. tall, multistory architectural insulated precast panels. Del Vento explains that the architectural insulated precast panels were chosen for their “highly architectural features, shapes, insulating properties and speed in schedule installation benefits”.
These panels have superior insulating properties that save money on energy costs when heating or cooling the building. They provide a reflective acoustic surface dampening sound from surrounding traffic. Insulated panels eliminate mold issues on two levels, first, it protects the insulation, which is sandwiched between two layers of concrete, and second, precast concrete provides no food source for mold or bacterial growth. The panels are designed to include the exterior and interior electrical boxes and conduit, which are cast right into each panel eliminating additional interior furring and materials. The interior side of the panels require no additional work, once installed the smooth finish is ready to be painted. The exterior walls of the panels are open to imagination with multiple finish and color choices available, in this case accents include different shapes and textures making the exterior visually inviting.
The architectural insulated precast panels are being produced at the Coreslab Structures, Inc. facility in Thomaston CT, only 52 miles from the school. With precast panels, site preparation can be started while the panels are being produced. Once the site is ready the panels take the short ride to the school and are erected. One 18,600 sq.ft. section was erected in only 7 days. The faster the building envelope is competed the sooner the interior tradesmen can begin.
The benefits of using architectural insulated precast panels are in the very essence of the panel, from saving energy to reducing labor of additional trades, to keeping students safe from extreme weather conditions and fire. The precast panels in this school naturally meet the MA CHPS standard for high performance green schools by creating a thermally, visually and acoustically comfortable place for students to learn.
Ground Breaking Date: May 2010
Completion Date: July 2012 (Estimate-September 2012)