Institute of Innovation R2i2
Columbia, S.C.  
Award of Merit

Owner: Richland School District Two
Lead Design Firm: LS3P Associates
General Contractor: M.B. Kahn Construction
Civil Engineer: RB Todd Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer: ADC Engineering
MEP Engineer: Buford Goff & Associates
Solar Contractor: AGT Solar

The first of its kind in the nation, the 180,000-sq-ft, community-centered Institute of Innovation offers high school students the chance to take courses in supply chain logistics, computer applications development and hands-on energy courses. Nicknamed R2i2 for Richland School District 2 and innovation—the school features a curriculum emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math and is co-located with a public library and surrounded by a large retail development and private residences. The design-build team of M.B. Kahn Construction and LS3P worked to deliver the facility as a Green Globes-certified project. The building itself was designed as a teaching tool for students with a learning lab that showcases an exposed ceiling area with color-coded components such as HVAC, water, compressed air and fire alarm.

After the initial roof had been designed, the local utility company released special incentive rates that made solar panels more attractive. To take advantage of that, the team quickly re-worked the school’s design to accommodate a 285-kW rooftop solar system. Despite the change, contractors were able to complete construction of the administrative and classroom areas in just 16 months, five months ahead of the original schedule, enabling the owner to move in early. The school’s professional development area was occupied two months later. Contractors achieved the expedited construction schedule by utilizing additional construction crews that worked six days a week. The project team rewarded the crews for their productivity and safe work practices with several banquet lunches.

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