High-Profile Feature: Mattahunt Elementary School
Community School Realizes Energy Reductions by Brian H. Neely After two years of design and one and a half years of construction, the redesigned Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan is realizing a 30% reduction in energy costs to heat and cool the facility. This $8 million modernization project was funded by the city of Boston and constructed by Reliable Roofing and Sheet Metal, the general contractor. Originally built in the 1960s, Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan started as a three-story 105,000sf building, with a masonry first floor and a white insulated metal panel system with punched windows at the second and third floors. The metal panels were rusting, paint was peeling, air and water were infiltrating to the interior via panel joints, and the moisture infiltration was deteriorating the panel insulation. The metal panels were visible to the inside of the classroom in multiple locations, and they gave a sterile industrial atmosphere to the classrooms. The existing windows were steel pivot windows that started to sag over time, leaving large visible gaps and allowing further air infiltration. Gale Associates, Inc., a building envelope consulting engineering firm, provided the Boston Public Facilities Department (BPFD) and School Department with several replacement options, emphasized the need for long-term performance, en-
Mattahunt elementary school ergy efficiency, and the low maintenance and durability necessary for an urban environment. In addition to the various technical challenges, the existing building had a mundane and uninteresting appearance, allowed for limited daylighting opportunities in the classrooms, and an unfriendly main entry door with little on it to indicate the school’s name or that it served as its entry point. The BPFD assembled the design team of Gale and Utile, Inc.,
Photos by Robert Knight
an architecture and urban design firm, to reimagine the building’s exterior. The existing building has a re-
markable plan with a central library core which spun off multiple pods of four classrooms. The design team felt this was an important and unrecognized attribute of the building worth embracing. The recladding of the building was an opportunity to develop a programmatic legibility for the façades and a chance to create a composition for which the students would take notice. The final design classified interior spaces into clear categories, by assigning especially vibrant “Lego-like” color schemes and playful curtainwall compositions to areas for learning. Administration areas were treated with a reserved monotone metal panel system with punched windows. Several panels in that system were designed with a double layer, which allowed the use of perforated exterior panels to spell out Mattahunt School over the north and south entries. This clearly demarcates entries where there was confusion before, and it strengthens the school’s branding and identity.
Project Team for Mattahunt Elementary School Gale Associates, Inc. – Architect / Building Envelope Consultant Utile - Consulting Architect Reliable Roofing and Sheet Metal – General Contractor R.W. Sullivan Engineering – MEP Engineer Dri-Design – Wall Panel Supplier
GENERAL CONTRACTING • ROOFING MASONRY • SHEET METAL • MILLWORK
Connecting bridge ReliableNE General Contractor on the “Mattahunt School project”
Reliable NE provides a wide range of services in the New England region: • General Contracting • Commercial Roofing • Architectural Sheet • Masonry • Carpentry & Millworks ''Reliable NE installed a new EDPMMetal roofing system on various buildings at our facility. Our facility had specific requirements due to explosive gases and special use buildings. Reliable NE was truly accommodating in developing procedures toReliable deal with Roofing these unusual& circumstances. ReliableNE Sheet Metal LLC was approachable and trustworthy and we look forward to working with them in the future''. 105Island IrvingWaste Street Carl Linquist, Facilities Manager Deer Water Treatment Plant
Framingham, MA 01701 508-628-5562 Fax: 508-628-556 www.reliablene.com
Fully Unionized Workforce | Fully Licensed & Insured | Commited to Worker Health & Safety
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March 2014 issue of High-Profile: Biannual focus on Institutions and Schools. Annual Focus on SCUP North Atlantic Region