Johnsonite's Optima iQ resilient tile is featured in the Manassas Park Elementary School and Pre-K (MPES), a project that was recently recognized as an American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) 2010 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Award Winner. MPES was one of only 10 American-architect-designed buildings in the world selected for the honor.

Projects were evaluated for their architectural quality, green performance and contribution to the community, respectively, and M The school, which measures approximately 122,000 sq. ft., houses approximately 100,000 sq. ft. of Johnsonite's Optima iQ tile.  

Certified as LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the school has also won the Platinum Design Award from the Virginia School Board Association and the national AIA 2010 Educational Facility Design Award of Merit. “Johnsonite has a longstanding commitment to creating products and solutions that contribute to LEED certification points,” said Donna Sisson, solutions development consultant for Johnsonite. “It’s always great to be included on a project that shares our values.”

With more than 30 years of experience in education design, Charlottesville, Va.-based architecture firm, VMDO, designed MPES to incorporate educational opportunities and environmentally responsible components in every aspect of the school. All spaces that would traditionally be hidden or blocked off, such as retention ponds, corridor ceilings, mechanical rooms, are exposed and explained to the children with signage and active conversation.

“Each aspect of the design was carefully considered for the well-being of the children as well as their extended environmental education,” said Wyck Knox at VMDO Architects. “Already the students are taking steps to use their knowledge and naturally assuming the responsibility that is expected of them.”

Although the original design specifications included tile from Johnsonite’s rubber flooring portfolio, VMDO ultimately selected Johnsonite’s Optima iQ flooring, a high performing vinyl floor. “The first impulse of the designers was to use rubber tile,” said Jim DellaFranco, Regional Business Manager with Johnsonite. “When we suggested the Optima tile as an alternative they were thrilled. It surpassed their environmental goals and was budget-friendly.”

Optima iQ is FloorScore certified and can contribute to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification points. Optima is part of an expansive Johnsonite flooring system which includes rubber, linoleum, homogeneous and heterogeneous vinyl, stairwell products, finishing borders/wall base, transitions and other finishing accessories.