Students enrolled at Rocketship Delta Prep School in Antioch, California, learn well beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic. The charter elementary school emphasizes STEM education and environmental stewardship, and the campus reflects that higher purpose.
The two-story, $16-million school also harkens back to the Spanish missions rooted in California’s history.
To achieve the right design aesthetic and help deliver on a net-zero energy building, designers ensured Metl-Span’s insulated metal panels were part of the lesson plan.
A Challenging Assignment
The classroom structure began as a pre-engineered steel building that was constructed on site. It forms the centerpiece of a campus that also includes a play structure, a soccer field, a basketball court, a lunch shelter, and learning garden boxes.
For the classroom building, designers specified 31,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) manufactured by Metl-Span. This meant contractors had to integrate the panels into the steel structure on site.
More than half the installation of IMPs utilized 24-gauge Metl-Span CF exterior panels with a Santa Fe embossed exterior and a heavy stucco finish to match the mission-style buildings in the area. Contractors also installed 22-guage CF panels in a variety of colors to help achieve the desired aesthetic for the exterior façade and to make the grade on energy performance and sustainability.
“We’ve used insulated metal panels on a number of school projects like this,” said Nathan Swift, principal at Swift Lee Office, the architectural firm on the project. “[The metal panels] reduce thermal bridging because they’re installed outside the framing, and they help us achieve desired R-value. We also like that the framing and metal panels are produced from recycled content and can be recycled at the end of their life cycle.”
A Lesson in Efficiency
Metl-Span CF IMPs are of the highest quality with foamed-in-place panel manufacturing. The panels utilize concealed clips and eliminate thermal short circuits.
Beyond their energy efficiency capabilities, the panels are easy to install, which can contribute to an accelerated completion rate for the entire project and translate into reduced installation costs.
“Insulated metal panels provide a high R-value with a neat, clean look on the interior and exterior,” says Nick Hilbers of Hilbers Inc., the contractor on the job. “They also provide for faster construction and installation. Like all projects, it seems, we were under a tight deadline. That benefit from IMPs, coupled with our experience with pre-engineered metal buildings and IMPs, went a long way to helping us make the deadline.”
Class in Session
Rocketship Delta Prep School opened its doors in the fall of 2020 for students in grades K4 through fifth.