Lukachukai Community Schools Dormitory
Navajo Route 13, Lukachukai, AZ 86507
This project is a dormitory on the new campus that Lukachukai Community Schools are building in Lukachukai AZ and is currently under construction. Located in heart of the Navajo Nation, the new dormitory consists of approximately 13000 sqft. dormitory with 12 two-bedroom/ four occupants dormitory suites. The building has various common spaces including a large activity room, common living room, offices, and a common kitchen.
This is another project in a remote location, which always presents challenges. Additionally, on the same site, they are concurrently building a new school and 29 single-family attached and detached homes for future teachers which are certified LEED for Homes. While both aspects of the project are with the same developer and construction team, there are different specific team members assigned to the dorms and others to the residences. Furthermore, the dorm is certified under LEED for Homes V4 while the residences are using LEED for Homes Residential-Single Family 4.1.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs required the teachers to have fire protection within the attic space. So, they initially were thinking the thermal boundary would extend to the roof deck and have an unvented attic. This prompted the ENERGY STAR requirement that the homes meet IRC 2018 requirements for unvented attics. Well, NFPA 2018 guidelines required attic ventilation and did not recognize unvented attics. So, they had to install a roof ridge vent and soffit vents. This would greatly interfere with the air sealing capabilities of the attic space and reduce the effectiveness of the insulation on the roof.
The remote distance requires us to do pre-inspections via video calls and maintain tight coordination with the onsite team to prevent undue costs for unnecessary travel to and from the site. Participating in periodic weekly and monthly team calls is helpful as well.
Navigating two distinct rating systems on these concurrent projects is a challenge for even our experienced in-house team and creates a vast potential for mistakes from the onsite team. Efforts to constantly point out the differences in rating system credits from one portion of the project to another is essential, it’s very easy for a sub who works on the dorms and then moves to the residences to assume that the dorm was LEED for Homes, so this must be how we do that in the residences, which will not always be the case.
Move insulation to ceiling sheetrock, so the attic can vent properly and be in compliance with NFPA 2018. Also, insulation will maintain its effect R-value. This would also move the air and thermal boundary to the ceiling which would reduce the infiltration rate of the home and make air sealing much easier for the trades. We also recommended blown insulation so the attic space would be effectively insulated since it would be interwoven with ductwork, plumbing, and fire suppression piping.
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