Greenbrier Middle School a Model of Good Design
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Jackson Brown King Palculict Architects of Little Rock is dedicated to
delivering projects that meet their client’s goals and needs. Their client, the
School District of Greenbrier, Arkansas wanted a new middle school that followed
the sustainable practices of today.
Greenbrier Middle School radiates sustainable practices coupled with the cost
savings from low-maintenance materials. Huge amounts of natural light, rooms
equipped with state-of-the-art motion sensors, environmentally friendly and low
maintenance stained concrete, and other materials were used to produce a
facility that is a model of sustainability and cost savings.
“The top two items that come to mind about Greenbrier are the huge amounts of
natural light in the school and the beauty of the polished concrete floors with
their low maintenance,” said Randy Palculict, AIA of Jackson Brown King
Palculict. “We used large windows in the class rooms and clerestories in the
corridors for maximum natural light.” Studies show that students perform better
in natural light compared to electric lighting.
“We coupled the natural lighting with motion sensors in every room for
efficiency,” continued Palculict. Motion sensors not only save energy turning
off the system but also prolong the life of the lighting system. The National
Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities reported in Lighting for Schools, Dec.
2001 that by reducing the use of the electric lights by 50 percent, their life
span will be doubled and associated maintenance costs cut in half.
Many public spaces are now looking into and using concrete flooring instead of
carpet and VCT. The environmentally friendly aspects of using concrete were put
to use at Greenbrier. “The maintenance of the polished concrete floors at
Greenbrier is easy – they just wet mop the floors,” explained Palculict. Bruce
Carothers of American Concrete Concepts, Russellville, Ark. installer of the
polished concrete at Greenbrier estimates the life of properly maintained
polished concrete floors can last 20 years or more and the maintenance cost is
between 28 to 40 cents per square foot – quite a savings for schools. “Polished
concrete is a low-maintenance floor and uses a maintenance plan that uses no
dangerous chemicals and doesn’t contribute to VOCs.” stated Carothers.
In addition to the natural lighting and polished concrete flooring Jackson Brown
King Palculict Architects incorporated other building products for a greener and
healthier school facility. GlasRoc® by CertainTeed, a high performance exterior
sheathing contributes to mold resistance. Palculict likes working with
CertainTeed, "They are helpful to architects, they provide technical support and
have readily available information concerning the sustainability aspects of
their products. Their products are high quality and priced competitively and we
appreciate that." Other products used for the sustainable design was metal
roofing by McElroy Metals to reflect solar radiant heat which can help save on
cooling costs. Cementitious siding by James Hardie, uses raw materials that are
low in toxicity and are longer lasting leading to reduced maintenance and repair
costs. These and other products all team together for sustainability and cost
savings for the School District. The Greenbrier School District and its students
will reap the benefits of sound design by Jackson Brown King Palculict
Architects for years to come.