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Sunday, October 17, 2010

10 eco-friendly classrooms and schools teaching green lifestyle

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Conservation and preservation of natural resources and the environment is a lesson that not only adults but kids too need to learn fast. In order to answer the rising concerns about sustainability of architecture, designers have unveiled several green residential and commercial complexes and have now escalated efforts to design eco-friendly classrooms and schools that can help teach students some green lessons in a green environment. Here is a list of 10 such schools and classrooms where students can be groomed in a sustainable way:

⿢ Group Phi⿿s Sustainable Military School for Girls:

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Developed by Group Phi, this sustainable school has been constructed in Pune, Maharashtra, India. The school is the first military school for girls in India and has been built with sustainability as one of the main criteria. The building will provide ample learning space for 720 students and also space for other activities. The building comes with a gray water recycling system to reuse waste water. The courtyards are covered with polycarbonate sheets, which protect the corridors from rainfall, and by maximizing daylight they also reduce the amount of energy required to illuminate the interiors. The use of natural materials will lower the school⿿s footprint and also keep the students close to nature.

⿢ Pugh + Scarpa Architects⿿ Animo Leadership High School:

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Designed for Animo Leadership High School by Pugh + Scarpa Architects this green building targets LEED or CHPS certification. The building⿿s south façade houses about 650 solar panels which will reduce carbon emissions by over 3 million pounds. Faceted and ribbed screens appear as a façade motif that visually connect the school with the community and modulate light to protect the building from unwanted solar heat gain. Solar panels form the screen system on the longest façade of the building, which are augmented by additional panels on the roof.

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⿢ Kita Design⿿s Sun-powered Tree-top Classrooms:

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The Elleray Preparatory School in the UK features a unique set of forest classrooms that are designed by Robert Gaukroger of Kita Design Company. Constructed in the form of self-sufficient pods, the classrooms are fashioned from recycled materials and generate renewable solar energy for lighting. The units are constructed from ribbed timber frame set upon Douglas fir stilts and then clad in English chestnut shingles.

⿢ Mikou Design Studio⿿s Docks School:

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The Docks School has been designed to be built in Saint Ouen, France by Mikou Design Studio. The development will be visible because of its roof, which provides a stepped tier structure offering space for various departments. The nursery and the primary school are sheltered by canopies laden with photovoltaic panels, which are inclined at an angle of 30 degrees for maximum sun exposure. These panels are spaced by solid metal strips to avoid shadows being cast.

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⿢ Project FROG⿿s modular classrooms:

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Developed by Project FROG, these modular classrooms are outfitted with 60 solar panels that reduce the electricity costs to zero and generate more energy that the building uses. The 3500sqf classroom space has been built for Watkinson School and the project took only six months to complete.

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⿢ 3DReid⿿s RotatED:

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The RotatED has been developed in collaboration with Blue Forest, and can be turned on any of its seven sides to create an outdoor place with multiple application areas. The RotatED is provided as a base shelter with the opportunity for schools to select features from a range of finishes to photovoltaic panels and toilets depending on the budget and specific requirements.

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⿢ Arkhefield⿿s Creative Pavilion:

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The Creative Pavilion by Arkhefield Architecture not only takes the existing standard institutional structures to another level, but also makes them sustainable. The idea behind the building was to stimulate the social and learning values within the school through contrasting and existing spaces. The space inside the building is enough to house six classrooms or even a school concert. The simple design of the building not only keeps the construction material to a minimum, but also minimizes the environmental costs in terms of the building⿿s footprints and the energy usage. The building has open facades which provide natural light minimizing the amount of energy required for lighting. The large expanse of the roof has been made to good use by installing a water tank to harvest rain water.

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⿢ Blue Forest’s off-grid ‘Eco Classroom’:

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Designed for Benenden School in Kent, the Eco-Classroom will provide an innovative teaching space that is surrounded by mature parkland. The unique education facility is designed to be entirely off-grid, relying only on solar energy for electricity. Constructed using sustainably harvested timber and incorporating a green roof, the Eco-Classroom also features a green roof that allows the structure to blend in perfectly with the woodlands. The structure is also the first building in the UK that processes harvested rainwater from the green roof into hot and cold drinking water using solar energy

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⿢ Foster + Partners Langley Academy:

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Developed by Foster + Partners in Slough, England, the Langley Academy is a three-story building designed with a full-height atrium and provides assembly space for 1100 students. The building is designed to save 20% in water consumption, by harnessing rainwater and gray water, which is filtered for reuse in sanitation and irrigation. Moreover, the building⿿s energy-efficient design and the use of solar collectors on the roof help save 150 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere annually.

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⿢ New Hillside Middle School:

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The Hillside Middle School in Salt Lake City School District, one of the oldest public school districts in Utah, has set up high standards with their green credentials for the others to follow. The $20 million structure maximizes the use of natural light to save on energy. The insulated windows keep away the heat, offering the students to study in a cool environment. The paints that have been used have low levels of volatile-organic compounds. A series of filters in the boiler room keep harmful particles from blowing through the school⿿s ventilation system, giving the little kids clean, fresh air to breath.

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