PAVE Academy, Brooklyn

The first new school built in Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood in decades, this 430,000-sq-ft public charter school is located on a 24,096-sq-ft corner site. The three-story school accommodates 18 full-size homeroom classrooms for K-8, three shared classrooms for science, art and music, a cafeteria with kitchen, a gymnasium and administrative spaces. The structure also includes a 3,200-sq-ft front play yard and a 1,600-sq-ft rear courtyard.

The team encountered several major hurdles, including Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, both of which brought heavy wind and rain to the area. For days after Sandy, work was limited due to transportation disruptions and a scarcity of building materials. The crew worked overtime to make up for losses and eventually finished the building three months ahead of schedule—which allowed the school to open during winter break—and within the project's $24-million budget.

The project, which was awarded LEED-Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council, included sustainable design elements. These included a high-efficiency mechanical system that incorporates heat recovery, the use of daylight harvesting and occupancy sensors, low water use plumbing fixtures and water-efficient landscaping. Interior finishes optimize the use of materials with recycled content and low-volatile organic compounds.

A quality control and assurance plan was implemented and quality control started during design through a GMP development process. The process was begun early to provide constructibility reviews, procurement advice and logistical planning. Quality control continued into the field by ensuring that the specified products were being incorporated into the finish process through an organized and thorough engineering, submittal and shop drawing process.

Materials were also checked for compliance with approved submissions prior to being loaded onto the floors for installation.

A pre-punch-list program was implemented to ensure that items were completed while production crews were still on the jobsite, where superintendents reviewed each classroom, office, corridor and other finished spaces prior to occupancy. They posted pre-punch lists on each entry door.

Judges noted the team's success despite numerous challenges from the storm as well as the schedule for the school's opening. One added, "there was good teamwork that included regulatory agencies."

Key Players

Owner Civic Builders, PAVE Academy Charter School K-8

General Contractor Hunter Roberts Construction Group

Lead Designer Mitchell | Giurgola Architects LLP

Structural Engineer Weidlinger Associates

MEP Engineer MG Engineering PC

Geotechnical Langan Services

Signage and Wayfinding Pentagram

Landscape SCAPE/Landscape Architecture PLLC

Site and Civil Engineer Yu & Associates

Lighting Goldstick Lighting Design Ltd.