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Schools Achieve High Marks with Concrete

Schools Achieve High Marks with Concrete

Next generation schools are incorporating different technologies and materials such as digital lighting and glass as sturdy as walls.  However, whether a school is being newly built or simply being renovated and/or expanded to keep up with other facilities, concrete is still the building material of choice.  This construction staple offers many benefits, which staff and students enjoy, and the surrounding community appreciates. 

Concrete: A High-Performance Material Offering Many Benefits

User Comfort

In order to learn and teach effectively, students and teachers must be in a comfortable environment.  Temperature is a key factor when it comes to comfort level. With its inherent thermal mass, concrete enables cooling and prevents overheating in areas such as laboratories and computer labs where heat-generating equipment is located.  

Healthy Indoor Environment

Unlike other building materials, concrete produces no harmful emissions to affect the indoor air quality.  Also, its impervious nature keeps the outdoor elements from entering schools. It is much more difficult for insects or rodents to be frequent indoor visitors.  


Concrete not only enables good acoustics for learning activities, but it also provides excellent sound insulation.  Music or physical education classes can take place without disturbing students in other classrooms.  


Schools often experience harsh treatment inside as well as outside.  Concrete is capable of withstanding heavy wear and tear inside without needing excessive maintenance to keep it looking good.  

On the outside it can handle many different extreme weather events.  According to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Concrete Sustainability Hub entitled “A Break-Even Hazard Mitigation Metric,” a $10 million non-engineered wood building could be expected to face more than half a million dollars in hazard related damages over 50 years, while a $10 million engineered concrete building is expected to face only $165,000 over the same period. 


Concrete can add to the aesthetics of a school.  It is available in a variety of finishes, colors, stains and even patterns.  And, this versatile material can be used for flooring, walls, counters, columns, partitions, and soffits.  

Chicago’s Largest High School is Rehabilitated

Since 1908 Chicago’s largest high school has been educating students.  Over the years, this 607,000 square foot facility has experienced its share of use and needed a complete makeover.  Walls were crumbling, roofs and skylights were leaking, and windows and doors did not operate properly. 

The 17-month project involved many different contractors, including a member of the Northern Illinois Concrete Contractors.  Together they rehabbed the facility working three shifts per day.  Non-disruptive work occurred during the day when classes or extra-curricular activities were occurring while noisy and dusty work commenced after students and staff left for the evening.  

Prominent University Expands its Research Facilities

 One of the nation’s leading universities recently added a 12-story research facility to its campus.  This complex building included 305,000 square feet of supported slab with twelve pounds per square foot of reinforcing and multistory-high framing.  A member of the Northern Illinois Concrete Contractors was able to handle this complicated project thanks to its superior project management team.  They helped ensure that the client’s tight deadline was achieved while still meeting stringent framing tolerances.  In addition, they ensured that staff and students experienced minimal disruption during the construction.   

Concrete Provides Better Outcomes

The construction of today’s schools is changing, but one constant is concrete.  With its many benefits, concrete stands out among building material options. Its sturdiness ensures schools are better equipped to withstand the increasing forces of nature.  With the many concrete options, schools now can be more visually appealing, incorporating different colors and patterns. Plus, it provides a healthier environment for students and staff as well as affords comfort with its natural cooling properties.  Finally, good acoustics and sound barriers are two other benefits of concrete.  

The members of the Northern Illinois Concrete Contractors are bringing all these benefits to schools every day.  Whether your school is going to be remodeled or your community is building a new facility, consult our online directory first because we are positive you will find the perfect concrete contractor for your next project.     

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