BE&K Building Group Wins Award for Helping Cherokee Nation Maintain Tribal Tradition of Environmental Stewardship

Cherokee, N.C., November 19, 2009—BE&K Building Group’s new K-12 facility project for the eastern band of the Cherokee Nation recently won the Best of 2009 award from McGraw-Hill’s Southeast Construction magazine.

The $108 million, 473,000 square foot complex contain three schools, three gymnasiums, an auditorium, community center, sports arena, and cafeteria. Richard Anderson, BE&K senior project manager, describes the project, “The site is nestled in between the Blue Ridge Parkway to the east and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north and the Oconaluftee River to the west. The 18-building complex is divided into academic space for elementary, middle and high school students, a 1,040-seat cultural arts center, separate dining, media centers, and basketball/ multipurpose facilities.”

The Cherokee leadership was intent on building a facility to incorporate tribal tradition of environmental stewardship. According to Anderson, “The architect worked with the client to assure the building’s appearance reflected local art and heritage of the Cherokee people which can be seen in the seven-sided shape of the two courtyard areas taken from the traditional Cherokee village layout and the traditional basket weave patterns of the stucco on the ends of some of the buildings.”

The Cherokee also wanted a building that reflected their reverence for the earth and the energy they used. It had to be a high-performance building that used energy efficiently and respectfully. BE&K Building Group and their insulation contractor, American Coatings and Insulation Systems (ACI), Greensboro, NC, chose NCFI’s high-performance commercial spray foam insulation InsulBloc for the job.        

According to Anderson, “One of our major concerns was how to maintain energy efficiency within the environmental framework. We were working toward LEED Silver certification, which is the benchmark for design, construction and operation of a sustainable building and a legacy of the Cherokee tradition of respect for the earth and its elements. This particular educational facility includes a geothermal well system, rainwater harvesting system, day lighting, and energy efficient equipment. Spray foam has outstanding insulation value, is safe, and really sealed the building envelope for the ultimate energy efficiency.”

Frank Hughes of ACI says, “We all agreed the building had to be super-insulated. High-performance spray foam insulation guarantees the Cherokee Nation gets the most from the energy they create and use. InsulBloc is ideal to seal a commercial building and provide the highest energy efficiency you can get with masonry block. We sprayed four inches on the exterior masonry block and four inches on the interior sheetrock walls. That’s super-insulation and it can only be achieved with spray foam insulation.”

Nelson Clark, senior vice president of NCFI, says his company is proud to play a role in BE&K’s Best of 2009 award. “We’re like proud parents when we see a project as important as the Cherokee Central Schools win an award. It’s validation of what we do each day: you cannot build a high-performance building without high-performance spray foam insulation.”

Clark says NCFI relies on smart, forward-thinking contractors like Hughes and ACI and excellent builders like BE&K Building Group because, “Our products are rarely seen by the building owner or people who spend most of their time working and learning inside the school building. After application our products are covered up. Occupants know something is keeping them comfortable and saving them big money on energy costs, they just don’t know it’s an NCFI product. We’re okay with being the most important green building product you never see.”

Clark adds his company seeks out visionary builders like BE&K Building Group and contractors like ACI, “Our focus is creating the future of high-performance building in the U.S. We’re proud to work with BE&K and ACI to provide the materials and spray foam equipment required to build for a nation concerned with healthy, high-performance buildings.

“All of us at NCFI congratulate BE&K Building Group and the Cherokee Nation on their major building award. Thanks for choosing NCFI.”


About NCFI

NCFI was organized in 1964 by research chemist, Dr. H. W. Bradley and Barnhardt Manufacturing Company. NCFI is headquartered in Mt. Airy, NC and manufactures polyurethane foam chemical systems for spray foam-in-place insulation commonly referred to as SPF, roofing, marine floatation, packaging, specialty molding, and many other uses. The company also offers a complete line of flexible foams for furniture seating, transportation seating, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging. NCFI has manufacturing plants in High Point and Hickory, N.C., Dalton, GA., and Salt Lake City, UT. To learn more about NCFI please visit

For follow-up information or to schedule an interview, please call Dale McGlothlin at (202) 341-8615.