Schools are great opportunities to implement energy-smart, sustainable and green design elements. Not only do they help work towards energy independence and a more eco-conscious built world, they can become talking points among teachers and students to help inform our youth of the importance of investing in a green future. Planting the idea of environmental friendly materials, design strategies, and electrical and mechanical systems in the minds of students paves the way for them getting more involved as their teeth get longer and their wallets get fatter.
Here are a few ideas existing and new schools can start instituting today to help usher in a new age of green development and sustainability.
1 | Insulated Concrete Blocks
Most schools these days primarily use concrete masonry units (CMUs) for their exterior wall construction. They are monolithic, fairly easy to install, and incredible resistant to fire and weather. However, they are horrible at providing enough insulation to not only meet code, but provide a comfortable interior environment for students to learn in. These walls have to be furred out from the inside and insulated with more traditional methods, which increases cost and still doesn’t provide the best thermal protection.
Innovating, discovering, experiencing and acting are the main activities which will be held at i.d.e.a. Lab a new space for culture and creation designed by ARCO Arquitectura Contemporánea executed in Mexico City.
© Jussi Tiainen
The building is located in Limeil-Brevannes, near Paris. It consists of three preschools and of two elementary schools. As the method of commissioning was used so called “conception-construction” system, where the competition teams propose both all plans and the construction on fixed price. Beside schools, an apartment building of social housing of 46 flats was included to the competition program. Time for the competition was one month. The decision for the winner was made in April 2011 and the inauguration of the building was held 18 months later. The construction of the apartment building starts in next April.
Due to the increasing number of students, the local Oostduinkerke school needed to expand. The building premises are situated in the centre of town, in between the backyards of the surrounding buildings.
The newly constructed nursery section is partly underground. This way, the new building creates a number of benefits: A scenic integration with the build-up environment and a spacious outside play area for the children. All classes walk out into a wind-free covered class garden that serves as a safe outside area.
Building project: Building a new, modern college seminar building for FOM Hochschule für Oekonomie & Management University of Applied Sciences gGmbH with approximately 1,400 student seats, office units, underground parking and a spacious, green campus.
The school is distinguished by its spatial organization and design of the facades of their surroundings. The free form differentiates the building from its environnement of rigid social housing characterizing the area ‘Province de France’ in Nanterre. There is a relationship point of view (a view relation) with the Paris business district La Défense. The highly frequented, Route Nationale 314 runs west to the school building. The site was excavated and earth mound planted.
© David Boureau
The school complex is organized around two courtyards that offer children different outdoor areas. The yard of the kindergarten was designed as a square, the courtyard of the elementary school as a trapeze. In the south, the campus has been completed by the gym. To the east is the ‘Centre de Loisirs’, a day home for in France generally established full-day school. The day home also is open to the residents of the neighborhood Province de France, and acts with its library and documentation center as ‘house of the neighborhood’.
Denmark’s oldest school, the listed Sølvgade School built in 1847, close to King Christian IV’s famous historic naval barracks, Nyboder, in Copenhagen, has for many years been lacking space and modern facilities. C.F. Møller Architects has carefully renovated the school and done a striking extension which in its form and colors is true to the surroundings, but also adds a modernistic twist to the school.
The quality of the site, both symbolic and architectural, leads us to propose a building organized around an interior garden ; while preserving the site unity.
Whe make the most of the authorized outline to propose a building with a simple construction principle and rational organization, while maintaining the garden’s qualities. All the laboratories and offices are turned to the garden thanks to the gallery distribution system under the hull south facade (it allows on one hand an optimal control of the temperature, and secondly, the precise frame on the surrounding urban elements).