Alcoa’s Kawneer Architectural Aluminum Products Enhance Learning in an Environmentally Friendly Way

November 6, 2009

Kawneer Products Helps Build a New State-of-the-Art, Energy Efficient Intermediate School in Hot Springs, Arkansas

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.--The Hot Springs Intermediate School, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, may appear to be an everyday, two-story school. But in taking a closer look at the aluminum, glass and brick building it is apparent that there is much more to the building than meets the eye.

Sustainability was a key factor in creating the new school. It was important that the Intermediate School incorporate solutions that help provide a healthy, productive learning environment, such as increased daylighting and improved energy efficiency. To help achieve natural lighting, products from Alcoa’s Kawneer architectural aluminum products business were selected to help increase the durability, sustainability and energy efficiency of the school. The new school, now occupied by approximately 700 students, is spacious and features an open floor plan with natural light throughout.

Challenges for Kawneer

  • The School District had strict energy requirements; therefore energy efficiency was essential to the project.
  • Many of the classrooms in the new school faced west, which was not ideal for energy efficiency or daylighting.
  • To fit the needs of a growing student body, the new facility needed to be durable and able to handle heavy traffic.

Kawneer Solutions

  • To meet the energy and lighting needs of the school while keeping within the project’s budget and design guidelines, a combination of Kawneer’s 1600 SunShade® and custom sunshades were used to help control glare and maximize natural light during the school day.
  • For additional thermal and performance options, Kawneer’s versatile Trifab® VG 451T Storefront Framing was selected. The building also incorporates a geo-thermal heating system and an insulated building envelope. Additionally, extra insulation was integrated into the roof to exceed the energy code. Entrance vestibules also featured sloped glazing to allow for increased natural light to enter the building.
  • For durability, Kawneer 350 Medium Stile Entrances were used. This entrance package, composed of a door, door frame and hardware, is designed specifically for high traffic areas such as school entrances, and makes a good, aesthetic impression, while simultaneously withstanding the rigors of constant use. To provide heightened security, Kawneer’s Paneline® Exit Devices, which offer total access control, were installed on the entrances to the facility.

Other Design Highlights

The site that the school district selected for the new facility was adjacent to the old building and fairly small in size. To compensate for the small building site, local architectural firm Douglas A. Arnold and Associates was required to go from a one-story design to a two-story plan. A greenhouse, incorporated into the design as a part of its science curriculum, features a skylight that provides smooth appearance and helps minimize heat loss and condensation. The combination of the building’s green features and modern teaching facilities, which includes a separate physical education building and auditorium, as well as an elaborate arts wing, helped make Hot Springs Intermediate School state-of-the-art.

About Kawneer
With more than 100 years of innovation and experience, Kawneer North America is headquartered in Norcross, GA, and is the leading manufacturer of architectural aluminum products and systems for the commercial construction industry. Kawneer is part of Alcoa’s global Building and Construction Systems (BCS) business unit. Alcoa BCS manufactures and markets architectural systems and products in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Alcoa is the world’s leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. For more information on Kawneer or its products, please visit

About Alcoa
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) is the world leader in the production and management of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina combined, through its active and growing participation in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems. The Company has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for eight consecutive years. Alcoa employs approximately 63,000 people in 31 countries across the world. More information can be found at

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