There is nary a more important construction project than a school. In Alberta, that picture is about to get a whole lot bigger. The province is about to spend $3.5 billion over the next five years to build and modernize educational institutions of all types, from public to private (Catholic). With up to $1.7 billion slated for the year ahead, plans to break ground begin immediately (July 2016).

If you represent relevant municipal interests or private institutions you are considering the best construction options, ones that will serve students today and the far off future. You’ve likely heard of the benefits of insulated concrete forms, but today we take a look at how this construction concept will directly benefit your up and coming school project.

Why Insulated Concrete Form Construction Builds Better Schools

1. Meets Enrollment Demands Faster

The budget is wide open for Alberta school construction because of the demand. The province is looking at the young and growing population and is doing all that it can to accommodate the wave of students lining up to get into class. Stakeholders and builders need quick construction turnaround without sacrificing one square foot of quality. Thankfully, Insulated concrete forms are ready for immediate installation. ICF forms, while extremely sturdy, are so lightweight that your construction crew can whisk through the foundation installation quickly. Subcontractors joining the process after the concrete pour are also able to work with and manipulate the forms (cutting, sawing, drywall fastening, etc.) with ease. Your municipal or private interests will be able to meet enrollment demands faster when ICF construction is used to build their schools.

2. Sets a Sustainable Example

LEED certification for municipal interests and educational institutions in Alberta is becoming a necessity. Successful school builds and modernization projects are applying eco-friendly best practices. Incorporating sustainable building materials in school construction not only meets municipal and federal requirements and is beneficial to the health of future enrollees, it serves as an example for students and leads the way for other educational institutions. From both a functional and public relations perspective using ICF for sustainable building is a big plus. Learn more about earning LEED credits by using insulated concrete forms in your school construction project in Alberta.

3. Lets Students Focus (w/out Noise)

School design and construction must carefully consider acoustic levels. Day in and out students, teachers, and administrators in classrooms, modules and auditoriums need to be heard. Acoustic targets should exceed minimum prerequisites and significantly reduce background noise coming from neighboring classes and outdoor distractions. Reverberation through floors, walls, and ceilings should be minimized and the signal-to-noise ratio between the teacher and the student should be optimized. Once again, insulated concrete forms provide the solution. ICF builds a barrier that effectively buffers a classroom interior from outdoor noise. ICF panels with Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam cuts fluctuations in air infiltration and noise pollution. Students will be able to better communicate and concentrate within the walls of an ICF constructed school.

4. Keeps Students Comfortable and Safe

NUDURA ICF constructed Alvaton Elementary School is an award winning school construction project thanks in part to insulated concrete forms’ superiority in geothermal heating. Insulated concrete formed walls have a high thermal mass. Because of this, ongoing school utility expenditure is significantly reduced. Both taxpayers and private funders will appreciate this fact. However, the primary concern is for the comfort and safety of students. ICF’s ability to better protect students (and faculty) from the extreme outdoor temperatures known to batter Alberta during semester months is what makes it the primary choice for school construction.

5. Lays the Foundation for Generations to Come

The province is not about to invest over $3.5 billion for something that they don’t want to be around for the long haul. New school builds, renovations, and modernizations intend to serve future generations. This can only happen if the respective institutions are built to last. ICF concrete constructed schools are sturdier, stronger, and made to weather Alberta storms, including tornados and hurricanes (Alberta receives about 15 per year). With Central Alberta also named North America’s “hail alley” the strength of construction provided by insulated concrete forms is deemed essential for any local school build.

Seeking your own education on insulated concrete form installations? Total ICF provides training courses and programs in Sylvan Lake Alberta. Contact us at 403.887.2214 for more information on these programs or for any other ICF need.