Climate-responsive buildings are built to be comfortable and efficient. They do this by addressing a number of local environmental factors, including the direction of the sun, and typical seasonal conditions like temperature, wind, rainfall, and humidity.
Climate-responsive buildings also address local factors at the micro level by considering things such as any shade provided by a nearby mountain or high-rise building.
For school and university buildings, taking a climate-responsive approach can help to manage your indoor “climate”, ensuring your building remains cool and comfortable for students, teachers, other staff, and visitors.
Managing indoor temperatures in this way can lower your power bills, offering long-term savings. It also provides an opportunity to promote your school or university as a modern, sustainable, and forward-looking organisation. And in a world with increasingly extreme and uncertain weather, the more your building is adapted to its environment, the more it can “weather” these changes.
Below are a few ideas for keeping your education building cool through climate-responsive design.
If you want to keep your building cool, it’s important to orient it in such a way that exposure to direct sunlight is minimised in the summer.
For windows that will still be exposed to summer sunlight, consider selecting ones with double-glazing. These will reduce your building’s heat gain, helping to keep your indoor spaces cooler.
Choosing smaller windows is another way to reduce the risk of heat gain. In fact, using smaller windows has an even greater impact on your building’s indoor climate than the thickness of your walls.
Cross-ventilation is a tried and true climate-responsive approach to cooling in climates with lower levels of humidity. But there are also more creative options in warmer or more humid climates. For example, the Australian Technical College is cooled by air from an underground canal. This is a great example of innovative climate-responsive design.
Installing high levels of insulation is another classic way to keep your school or university buildings cooler. The same can be said for sun shading, which may come from overhanging roofs, shaded verandas, and sunshade sails.
Contact us today to discuss your next educational refurbishment or building project.