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Featured Project | College Goes Gold
TF Project Profile: How to take a College Campus Building and make it LEED Gold and 100% Efficient

One of the most exciting recent TF Forming Systems’ projects is the major addition to the Sparta Campus of Western Technical College, Wisconsin.

The technical college’s Sparta satellite campus is specifically designed for the training of First Responders, primarily police, fire and EMS. This location recently built a 10,000 SF addition that included a new central office, a large multi-function space with a serving kitchen, a computer classroom and a lab to be used for the training of evidence recovery.

According to Mark Dillenburg of Millennium Architects, the college wanted the new building designed with LEED Silver in mind.

“We were granted silver some time ago and were only three points short of gold. We had five points that we thought we should get but they had been rejected, so we knew there was room for discussion. So, with increased documentation, it was resubmitted and … Gold was achieved,” said Dillenburg, lead architect for the project.

The building as well as the entire campus was designed so each room and amenity could be used in multiple ways to reach optimum green efficiency. A retention pond was built to store water for the building’s sprinkler systems as well as fire hose training. It will also be used as a training facility for underwater rescues. The outlying grounds once required a great deal of maintenance in mowing and upkeep, but the implementation of berms for target practice and the allowance of some of the land to return to natural prairie reduced 20 acres of maintenance-needy land to only five.

Using a ground well on site, the new building was equipped with geothermal aspects for heating and cooling, reducing its utility bills dramatically. Assisting in the reduction of high-energy costs was the use of TF Forming Systems’ ThermoForm insulated concrete wall system.

“Anybody who knows anything about construction knows that a poured concrete wall with reinforcing is a better wall in terms of strength,” Dillenburg says. “We chose to try TF on this building and added additional furring for our electrical and mechanical. We ended up with walls of about an R30 at a fairly reasonable cost.”

The result was a beautiful campus building that will efficiently meet the needs of multiple users, as well as reducing the amount of energy used and costs to the college.

“This is yet another example of how a TF Forming System wall can be used both commercially and residentially to achieve lower energy bills and higher safety,” Kirk Brown, TF CEO says. “We are proud to be part of this type of innovative thinking and leading edge construction. This type of project is the core of what TF believes in and what we are working to achieve in the building industry.”


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