Rainbow Elementary School in Coatesville, Pennsylvania is a veritable study in sustainability for education facilities. In 2011, the 113,695 sq. ft. facility earned LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It was the first school building in Chester County, PA to receive that designation. Among the school's many "green" features is its ULTRA-Cool™ standing seam metal roof. The roof was manufactured from material supplied by Perth Amboy, NJ-based Englert Inc.
The school's architect, Gilbert Associates of Lancaster, PA, is known for setting standards for sustainability in school facilities in the Keystone State. It chose highly-reflective ULTRA-Cool™ metal roofing for the project to minimize the building's contribution to the urban heat island effect. The firm notes that the material and color of the roof allow most of the sun’s energy to be reflected rather than absorbed, thereby reducing the school's cooling costs.
The architect specified an Englert 2500 Series standing seam profile for the roof and an Englert 4000 Series profile for the soffits. The roof required 65,000 square feet of Englert material in a slate grey color. Approximately 9,000 square feet of sandstone and slate grey-finished metal was needed to fabricate the soffits. Both the standing seam and the soffit systems are LEED and Energy Star compliant. ADPI of Avenel, New Jersey fabricated the metal panel systems. Lobar Construction of Dillsburg, PA was the general contractor.
The school serves as a model for designing and building to LEED standards. Many of the products used in its construction, including the metal roofing, were manufactured within a 500-mile radius of the job site and contain high levels of pre- and post-consumer recycled content, earning LEED credits for recycled content and nearby manufacture. Metal roofing is also recyclable at the end of its service life; another way the Englert standing seam roof helped the school achieve LEED credits.
Other “green” choices for the school’s design included low-flow toilets, urinals and faucets throughout the building. The complex also uses filtration beds, swales and water quality structures to improve the quality of the storm water runoff. A geothermal ground source heat pump system makes use of the ground’s constant temperature to assist in providing heating and cooling in the building, reducing energy needs and more than doubling the life cycle of a traditional hvac system. Occupancy sensors are also used to control lighting in most spaces.
Because of its efficient design, the school district was able to take advantage of Pennsylvania’s School Design Clearinghouse Program which assures a design that meets cost efficiency and design standards set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, thus earning the Coatesville district a 10 percent increase in state construction reimbursement costs.