Metal Construction in Atlanta: Portman Family Middle School

Portman Family Middle School, Atlanta, GA

Editor’s Note: As we gear up for METALCON International, Oct 1-3 in Atlanta, we’re highlighting some of our favorite Atlanta metal construction projects. We hope to see you next week in Atlanta!

Sports arenas, event centers and skyscrapers generate the most buzz around their construction. Other buildings, such as schools, may not enjoy the limelight, but they’re no less important. In fact, one could argue the design, planning and function of a school building affects the future of more people than any other building type.

As you tour Atlanta during the upcoming METALCON, Oct 1-3, you can’t miss metal’s contributions to the city’s famous buildings. But get off the beaten path a bit, and take note of some of the less known, yet highly influential ones.

Atlanta-based Portman Family Middle School is a prime example of design done well, and metal products contribute to the middle school’s educational and green attributes. A LEED Gold-certified building, construction of the middle school was made possible by a generous $10 million donation by Jan and John Portman.

Designed by architecture firm Shepley Bulfinch, the 75,000 sq.-ft. building was completed in 2009. Some of the “green” features of the design include:

• a garden roof used as an interactive learning space with native plants fed by a rainwater-fed runnel carrying water through the garden to a cistern below
• low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, and dual flush toilets
• daylight sensors, solar hot water, and a high-performance exterior envelope

ALPOLIC aluminum composite panels are central to the high-performance exterior envelope. The metal panels were chosen for their versatility, durability, modern appearance and energy efficiency.

As an energy-efficient green building, the middle school not only saves tens of thousands of dollars annually, it also educates hundreds of children about the importance of sustainable living.

Metal’s use as a green construction material will no doubt be a hot topic at METALCON this year. For a prime example of metal’s green attributes in action, check out Portman Family Middle School, too.

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