The Richland School District Two continued work on its 10-year master plan that includes the construction of numerous, new, state-of-the art educational facilities across Columbia, South Carolina. Two of the more recent projects—Westwood High School and the Richland Two Institute of Innovation—successfully utilized Echelon’s Enduramax® complete wall system along with veneer units also supplied by Echelon. When architecture firm LS3P Associates began design on Jackson Creek Elementary School in 2015, the firm sought to incorporate a similar stone look as well as integrate brick and a precast product into the project. The Enduramax® System gave the design team the flexibility to provide this diverse look in one form.
Enduramax® is a complete wall system featuring closed cell expanded polystyrene (EPS) panels made to fit clay or concrete brick, as well as full bed depth Artisan Masonry Veneers®. The architect chose Lamina® Stone veneer, which emulates a stacked stone appearance for a bold statement, especially when combined with the brick and precast materials. The patented Enduramax® System with Lamina Stone® outperforms traditional brick or stone veneer in a number of areas. The patented foam panels not only significantly reduce energy consumption with an added insulation value of R-9.2 steady state, but also absorb sound waves to increase acoustical comfort. The paint-bynumbers installation process is quicker, simpler, and lighter than traditional masonry veneer and eliminates the need for a chainwall, ultimately reducing both material and labor costs over that of traditional masonry.
In addition, long-term maintenance is also a benefit. Echelon partnered with Amerimix®, part of the Oldcastle APG family, to supply a specially formulated pumpable mortar that adds increased flexibility to resist cracking. The foam panels provide structural support to avoid shifting, and drainage channels in the panels prevent water accumulation between the veneer and the school building.
“From an installation standpoint, the Enduramax System® is similar to a traditional cavity wall and veneer system, but we were definitely able to minimize materials,” stated Allen Taylor, Vice President and Principal, LS3P Associates. “We had both stud and CMU backup walls, and the insulation (panels) was the common denominator to plug in the exterior fenestration. As far as a finished product, it looks just like stacked stone. You wouldn’t know that it’s veneer.”
Amerimix also created a custom color for the mortar to ensure it matched both the hue of the Lamina Stone and the thin brick units used in other portions of the school.
Ed Watson, Director of New Construction, Richland School District Two is pleased with both the look and performance of the product. “The school is in a wetland area, and the stone veneer helps to incorporate a very natural look that blends in with both the environment and the residential and commercial buildings around it,” he said. “The two previous schools that used the (Enduramax) product completed construction around 2012, and the product is performing nicely, so we expect the same at Jackson Creek.”
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