Case Study: Consulting Engineering

Barkley Elementary School

Fort Campbell, KentuckyDepartment of Defense Education Activity

High Performance Results on a Budget

CMTA was honored to design a brand-new, 141,139 square foot school for 740 Kindergarten through 5th Grade students living at Fort Campbell Army Installation. We delivered a high performance school for almost $30/sf less than the last Fort Campbell School.

The Challenges

  • Deliver a high performance school within budget through real value engineering.
  • Adhere to strict government and military requirements.
  • Collaborate with a large team of owner-user groups and design consultants.
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CMTA’s unique insights helped deliver a school that is an awesome prototype for the future. Created with Sketch.

Douglas M. Brown


The Solutions

When the Department of Defense Education Activity contacted CMTA, they were looking for a group of trailblazers to bring decades of experience to the table. Our role was to help the owner and design team to achieve drastic energy reductions for their new school, by maximizing the building envelope, and HVAC and lighting systems. We were able to achieve these goals through true collaboration between the stakeholders throughout design and construction.

CMTA’s Building Science Leadership principles were instrumental to the success of this project. We applied our real world performance data to calibrate our models and present design alternatives that allowed the stakeholders to make more informed decisions during the design process. Collaborative conversations allowed CMTA to work with the stakeholders to arrive at innovative systems choices.

Interestingly, this project offered a unique opportunity to compare how decisions like these impact projects, as there was a second school being designed and built on Fort Campbell at the same time. While the other project, Marshall Elementary School, had the same customer, same criteria and same goals, they experienced different outcomes.

A look at the numbers

Barkley Elementary not only cost less to construct, but also costs less to operate, despite Barkley’s more expensive components. These results are consistent with the CMTA difference. We followed and implemented our Building Science Leadership principles on this project and the results speak for themselves.

The Results

As a result of our collaborative design process, many high-performance features were implemented at this innovative school. The school has a projected Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of 19 and this will be accomplished through a high performance building envelope (including insulated concrete form ICF walls), north-south building orientation, high performance glass, geothermal HVAC with distributed pumping, demand control ventilation systems, extensive daylighting, 100% LED lighting and solar water heating.

The school has received several design awards including Building the Future by USACE, Design Honor Award by the Department of Defense, Award of Excellence by Chief of Engineers, Learning by Design Citation by AIA and a Design Citation by American School and University. The school also received LEED Silver certification.

The building opened in 2017 and we are collecting data to validate that the design decisions made in 2012 were the best value for the owner. We are very excited about this design and the results that it will achieve for the owner by being the most energy efficient school for DoDEA.

Barkley Elementary Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: AIA 2030 Annual Energy Use Goal
Actual: The measured energy use of this project