With environmental consciousness on the rise, sustainability is fast becoming an integral part of building design. Occupying a large building footprint across the country, schools are at the forefront of this move towards sustainable design, increasingly using green materials and energy-efficient processes to reduce their environmental impact.
Recent research has shown that sustainable school building design not only reduces the environmental impact of school buildings, but can also improve educational outcomes and teacher retention through improved air quality, ventilation, thermal comfort and natural light.
One of the most effective ways for schools to reduce their environmental impact is by utilising passive design when constructing new school buildings.
Passive buildings are designed to naturally maintain temperatures at a comfortable level – during all seasons – through the use of insulating materials, natural ventilation and the orientation of the building. Deciduous trees can also play a key role in passive heating and cooling, as well as improving air quality and absorbing carbon emissions.
An added benefit of passive building design is lower energy consumption, which could significantly reduce power costs for schools.
The use of eco-friendly building materials can make a significant difference to the environmental impact of construction. An increasing number of sustainable building materials are readily available, as well as a wide range of recycled materials. By opting for natural materials such as cork and bamboo, sustainable alternatives or reclaimed elements such as old bricks, less waste is created and lower energy is consumed during the material manufacturing process.
Rainwater tanks are becoming an increasingly common addition to school campuses, in addition to specially designed gardens to also capture rainwater.
Rain harvesting can offer significant environment benefits in addition to ongoing cost savings, with water able to be collected for re-use within school grounds to water gardens or flush toilets.
Contact the Premis team today on 1300 773 647 to discuss your upcoming school refurbishment or build project.