CTA Takes 'LEED' On Building Sustainable Schools

CTA Construction of Waltham, Massachusetts is completing the new Park Ave Elementary School in Webster, MA

CTA Construction is installing a wide array of sustainable elements in the new Park Avenue Elementary School in Webster, aiming for a LEED Silver rating and a projected 41% savings in heating and cooling costs. Environmentally friendly projects now account for a large majority of CTA’s business, placing the Waltham-based contractor among the ranks of the greenest contractors nationwide.

CTA recently placed 82nd on the list of Top 100 Green Building Contractors, as ranked by Engineering News-Record magazine. In 2013, CTA’s green revenue topped $116 million, 84 percent of its total revenue.

“CTA Construction offers project owners and architects the expertise and experience in green building to bring to life their vision and plan for a sustainable, environmentally friendly facility. Our team believes in green building, which is why more customers are turning to CTA as the general contractor on their sustainably built projects,” said Patrick Tompkins, principal at CTA Construction.

TA Construction offers project owners and architects the expertise and experience in green building to bring to life their vision and plan for a sustainable, environmentally friendly facility. Our team believes in green building, which is why more customers are turning to CTA as the general contractor on their sustainably built projects

Patrick Tompkins, Principal

The $33 million, 109,067-square-foot elementary school in Webster, serving students in pre-kindergarten to second grade, is the latest of many projects by CTA Construction that contain many sustainable elements.

Green Buildings are Built with Green Methods

For CTA, green building starts with the choice and source of materials, an emphasis on recycling construction waste, and a commitment to hand over a facility with clean air. With an eye on the LEED for School Silver standards, CTA is using construction materials with 10 percent recycled content and 10 percent extracted, processed and manufactured regionally on Park Avenue Elementary.

In addition to the use of certified wood, composite wood and agrifiber products, CTA and its subcontractors are using low-emitting adhesives and sealants, paints and coatings, and flooring systems.

To reduce waste sent to landfills, CTA has a goal of diverting 75 percent of construction debris to be recycled, and is currently tracking to exceed that goal by 15 percent. Prior to delivering the building to the school district, CTA will test the building air quality or perform a full-building flush out to remove air-borne pollutants.

Going Green Starts with Good Design

The many sustainable elements in Park Avenue Elementary were the work of the architects at Dore & Whittier. For CTA, the many green elements offer new approaches to the familiar functions of schools and other public spaces.

The Park Avenue Elementary School, to achieve LEED Silver, will be an energy-efficient exterior envelope to reduce heating costs. The roof design with use material with high reflecting and high heat emissive properties on 75 percent of the area to reduce cooling costs.

Other green features will include:

{C}§  High efficiency and waterless fixtures to reduce water use by 35 percent.

{C}§  Only refrigerants free of chlorofluorocarbons used in equipment.

{C}§  High-efficiency lighting and use of daylight in 90 percent of the building spaces.

{C}§  Classrooms and other learning spaces designed for optimum acoustics and to minimize noise pollution.

{C}§  An HVAC system, with a direct-digital control system, monitoring airflow, filtering outside and return air, and measuring carbon dioxide levels.

{C}§  Independent exhaust systems for rooms such as janitor closets, laundry, copier rooms and industrial art shops, where hazardous gases or chemicals may be present.

{C}§  Separate drainage systems leading to proper disposal for areas with chemical mixing.

{C}§  Permanent grills or grates to capture dirt at high-volume entrances.

{C}§  Areas designated for the collection and storage of recyclables.

Outside of the school, the parking area, with fewer spaces, will encourage alternative transportation with preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.  It will offer secure bicycle storage with shower and changing facilities to encourage cycling by faculty and staff to and from school. 

Storm water will be controlled and sediment removed through natural, onsite treatment systems. The landscaping will not require irrigation, and no permanent irrigation system will be installed.

The new school is being built in three phases, adjacent to the location of a still-occupied facility that dates to the 1960s. The project is scheduled for completion next year.


Categories: Construction, Design and Architecture, Alternative Energy

Tags: Construction, Construction Managment, CTA Construction, ENR, LEED, sustainable design


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Patrick Tompkins
CTA Construction Co., Inc.
CTA Construction Co., Inc.
1432 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02451
United States