South Carolina School Uses Sustainable Design

Words: Dan KamysSouth Carolina School Uses Sustainable Design



Hanson Brick is working with Jumper Carter Sease Architects, P.A., CJMW Architecture and Lexington County School District One to create the new River Bluff High School. The school will be located near the intersection of highway 378 and I-20 on Corley Mill Road in Lexington, S.C., and is housed on a site previously owned by Guignard Brick Works. The project’s use of recycled job site materials, conceptualized by CJMW Architecture and JCS Architects, supports Lexington County School District One’s vision of a sustainable 21st Century school and provides a place for students to learn and grow.

“This project helps us build a school, while focusing on our community and keeping the environment in mind,” says Mary Beth Hill, chief communications officer for Lexington County School District One. “The use of recycled materials is cost efficient and allows us to be good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars.”

The jobsite existed previously as an old shale pit, occupied by Guignard Brick Works. When in operation, Guignard Brick Works was the oldest continuously operating brick company in the United States. Hanson Brick was selected to provide the brick needed to complete the project, due to their ability to manufacture new bricks from existing jobsite materials at a low cost, as well as for their expertise within the industry and the overall economic benefits. Additionally, Hanson’s Columbia Brick facility is located about 12 miles from the jobsite, which also minimized transportation costs.

“Perhaps the most exciting aspect of my initial idea for using the site’s own earth to create bricks for the facility is that Hanson’s enthusiasm for the concept spawned other resource-conserving measures such as ice storage for the cooling system and the use of natural light in lieu of reliance on electrical lighting,” says Michael Kohn, principal at CJMW Architecture.

To date, Hanson has manufactured about 600,000 utility-sized “River Bluff Blend” bricks, a product design used exclusively for this project. While the majority of materials used consisted of shale from the project site, kaolin from nearby areas was required in regional manufacturing as well in order to meet the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.

“This project is part of our ongoing commitment to make the best use of our resources,” says Charlie Ward, senior VP and general manager of Hanson Brick. “Our ability to reuse existing site materials is not only a benefit for our customers, but for our community as well. This was truly a team effort, and credit should be shared with JCS Architects; CJMW Architecture; Southern Management Group; The Exum Co.; Mid State Masonry Contractors; and China Construction.”

River Bluff High School is currently on schedule to open during the summer of 2013.

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