The ICFMA and several member companies participated in the recent Future Schools Summit, a resilient and high-performance schools symposium held at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. This successful three-day event was held November 1 – 3, 2022, and was organized by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), Build with Strength (BWS) coalition. The audience included architects, design professionals, civil and structural engineers, school board members, general contractors, building envelope professionals, mechanical engineers, and several state NRMCA representatives.
All desired to learn more and share experiences about the holistic approach of Net Zero Energy (NZE) or near NZE school buildings. These buildings are constructed utilizing updated modern building components like ICF as the basis of design for the building envelope. When discussing the many features and benefits that ICFs provide for school buildings, the speakers shared common experiences. Included in the discussion was first cost savings; cost performance when evaluated against steel frame or CMU; reduced construction timelines; long-term maintenance cost savings; extreme energy efficiency lowering utility costs; high sound attenuation (quieter) creating a less distracting learning environment; and increased life, safety, and security for new construction ICC-500 requirements.
This was such an educational experience as we were so happy it was not a “typical infomercial” from manufacturers or suppliers. Instead, the speakers and educators were like us, decision makers all looking to build better school buildings. The speakers and education track facilitators included NRMCA personnel, school administration personnel, school board members, architects, mechanical, civil, and structural engineers, and general contractors. While the overall education track facilitators were decision makers for designing and constructing their new school projects, many manufacturers and product specialists had table-top booths to demonstrate their products being specified and utilized on historic and new construction school building projects and additions.
The conference’s location was deliberate since Kentucky is the Net Zero school construction leader. Attendees also really enjoyed the second part of the summit, which was more hands-on, with attendees traveling to several Net Zero schools and meeting with administrators who operate these schools daily, district facility management and staff, and a new school under construction. These site visits included three recently completed Warren County Public Schools: South Green Elementary School, Cumberland Trace Elementary School, and Rich Pond Elementary School.
Chris McIntyre with Warren County Public Schools said, “We truly enjoy hosting, opening up our schools, and educating school design and construction decision makers during events like this, as we have such a positive track record of utilizing ICF and other holistic school design and construction methods for our high-performance schools, and wonder why all school boards throughout the country don’t build like this.”
The ICFMA had a part in sponsorship and booth participation, and on-site members assisted in representing our non-profit education-based organization. The Insulating Concrete Forms Manufacturers Association (ICFMA) is the North American non-profit trade association for the ICF industry, focused on improving the quality and acceptance of Insulated Concrete Form construction. ICF manufacturer members include Logix, Nudura, Quad Lock, SuperForm, BuildBlock, Fox Blocks, IntegraSpec, and Amvic.
The ICFMA would like to thank Frank Gordon with the NRMCA and Martin Clark with Nudura for organizing this event, as well as the speakers, sponsors, and attendees, and a special thanks to Warren County Public Schools for their participation in educating and hosting the site visits during this great event. We look forward to more events like this to successfully educate decision-makers across many building sectors on why ICF makes so much sense for high-performance wall assemblies.
D.C. Mangimelli is the business development advisor for Fox Blocks. Learn more about the ICFMA at www.icf-ma.org.