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May 17, 2013

Architectural/decorative concrete / tie
Lake Washington High School

Photo courtesy of WACA [enlarge]
Lake Washington High School’s concrete floors were specially colored “Kang purple,” one of the school colors.

Location: Kirkland

Owner/developer: Lake Washington School District

Project team: Lydig Construction, general and concrete contractor; McGranahan Architects, architect; PCS Structural Solutions, structural engineer; Cemex, ready-mix supplier


A project to replace Lake Washington High School in Kirkland was completed in late 2011 after several phases of construction.

The design of the 214,000-square-foot school involved a focus on sustainable systems and lasting materials. The layout of the buildings optimizes orientation to natural daylight for all classrooms, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Materials and systems were selected for balance of durability, maintainability, aesthetics and sustainability. Exterior walls are a combination of brick, concrete, pre-finished metal panels, curtain wall and storefront.

Cast-in-place concrete totaled over 9,000 cubic yards, with the majority in interior slab on grade, slab on metal deck and exterior fiber-reinforced concrete.

A large percentage of the interior slab on grade and slab on metal deck was designed as polished finished floor. This also included a portion of interior slab on grade, with a specialty color created to match the school’s specific shade of purple.

Using concrete as a finished floor has benefits such as reducing the building’s life-cycle costs and the need for higher-emitting finishes and adhesives. Exterior walkways and courtyard areas incorporated fiber-reinforced concrete instead of asphalt or crushed rock.

The district’s decision to use of cast-in-place concrete whenever possible has helped it further its goal to have durable, high-quality buildings for its staff, students and community.


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