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In 2017, officials in Lexington, Kentucky set out to create a Net-Zero building for their greatly needed highschool. Desperate to fix the cities over crowded school system, School Board Chairwoman Melissa Bacon said “ we wanted to build a school that would carry us into the future and support next-generation learning”. Cashing in at $82M, the project did just that.

The build began with many challenges. The team hoped to maintain memories of the area’s old Frederick Douglass High School, which served black children who lived in Fayette County outside the Lexington city limits during the segregation era. However, they also strove to create a school that would create generations of successful scholars. Coupled with cold winters and unusual architectural elements, this build was unique from the start.

The 287,000 sq. ft structure was built with insulated concrete forms. ICF allowed all the design elements such as a 36 foot high gymnasium wall to be built with a 12 inch concrete core.

Not only did ICF allow the contractors to build through the winter, even in below zero temperatures, but it also resulted in a Net-Zero building. Done with merely an 8-man crew, which would normally require 30 or more masons when using the traditional building methodologies, this institution is a landmark in the development of longstanding ICF builds. The investment into this build will be felt by this deserving community for years to come.