Learning Village Wins VA Building Award

LEED Gold-Certified Facility Acknowledged for Excellence

The new Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Learning Village at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville was honored during an awards ceremony on March 3, 2011 at the Virginia Concrete Conference. The Learning Village project was named “winner” in the Commercial category for the 2010 Excellence in Concrete awards program hosted by the Virginia Chapter American Concrete Institute. Associate Head of School Mike Waylett was on hand to accept the award on the school’s behalf.

The Learning Village elementary and middle school complex is the first school in Virginia to be built with insulated concrete forms (ICFs) as the primary wall system. ICFs are hollow foam blocks stacked on each other and then filled with concrete. The ICF system was chosen for its excellent energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality, quietness, and safety. During construction, students were treated to a demonstration where a typical 2X4 was fired from an air cannon at an ICF mock up, simulating potential damage from hurricanes and tornados. As students witnessed, the 2X4 splintered harmlessly against the ICF mock up, causing no damage to the wall.

Another key feature of the Learning Village facility is the choice of pervious concrete for the parking area. Pervious concrete allows rainwater to drain through rapidly during a storm where it can be stored and allowed to percolate slowly into the ground. Pervious concrete also captures the “first flush” of water from the pavement that may contain drips of oil, fertilizer, and other contaminants, and prevents them from washing into streams and rivers. At St. Anne’s-Belfield School, water collected by the pervious concrete is stored in a 75,000 gallon cistern and then used to irrigate the athletic fields, greatly reducing the demand on the municipal water system.

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