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

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