Endorsed by

NSW government architect produces environmental design guide for schools

The Government Architect of NSW (GANSW) and the NSW Department of Education have collaborated on a manual to guide the sustainable environmental design of schools.

The manual, which can be found here, argues that environmentally sensitive school design can boost educational outcomes in addition to reducing the environmental impact of school buildings. It says that factors such as air quality, ventilation, natural lighting, thermal comfort, and acoustic performance “have been shown to have a profound impact on teacher wellbeing and student attentiveness, attendance, and overall performance.”

The manual leans on passive design as the main organizing idea in achieving these results, and is targeted at school principals, teachers and students interested in affecting change on their own campuses rather than designers or architects themselves.

It outlines the fundamentals of passive design, and notes the importance of insulation, natural light, natural shading devices, cross-ventilation and external shading.

The manual also provides some simple changes that can be made to a school’s external and internal spaces that can boost environmental outcomes.

“Introducing some simple environmental design strategies can help you to improve school rooms, buildings, and grounds,” says the manual. “In many cases these strategies can make a big impact at a relatively low cost. These improvements can make schools feel better and work better, and can encourage students to take an active role in caring for the environment.”

Some of these strategies include opening windows on both sides of a room to facilitate cross-flow ventilation, bringing plants into classrooms, exposing building services to increase student awareness of how resources are used within the building and a guide on how to use air conditioning effectively.

The document is a companion to GANSW’s Design Guide for Schools. For more information, go here.

More news

See all
The Association of Consulting Architects’ 2016 National Salary Survey found that the gender pay gap persists and 13 percent of firms surveyed are underpaying staff. Architects glum about 2019 salary prospects

Architects are concerned about obtaining a pay rise this year, according to the results of a survey conducted by recruitment agency Hays.

The Ian Potter Centre for Performing Arts, designed by Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design. Revitalized Alexander Theatre opens at Monash University as part of new performing arts centre

Monash University has opened a $54.3 million performing arts centre at its Clayton Campus which includes an upgraded modernist theatre and two new concert halls.

A concept image for a pedestrianized Elizabeth Street. Melbourne council continues pedestrianization push with Elizabeth Street plan

City of Melbourne councillors have voted to endorse a plan that will see Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street closed to cars over a number of years.

The tower at 62-68 Currie Street designed by Hames Sharley. Expressed concrete tower set for approval in Adelaide

A Hames Sharley-designed 25-storey office and hotel tower proposed for Adelaide’s Currie Street is expected to be approved by the State Commission Assessment panel on …

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar