a real school for the future – without eco-bling

Education Guardian reports today on the development of Acharacle School on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Scotland.  The report by Tariq Tahir, should make ‘essential ‘ reading for those involved in school design, construction and in community assets. In addition the school childrens blog ‘they are building outside our class‘ illustrates how construction can be a real educational benefit.  One to RSS and watch develop.

And with no eco-bling, no greenwash, this is sustainable development…

The design, illustrating a sustainable future, for two or three generations is based on the use of mass-timber.  Architect Howard Liddel from Gaia comments … “the modern school does what it says on the tin but what it has on the tin is a skull and crossbones, and these are toxic fumes. Modern buildings have huge amounts of formaldehyde coming out of the floor coverings, seat coverings, the walls run with condensation.”

“What this project is doing is ticking a lot of boxes in a very subtle manner. There’s no covering the building in ‘eco-bling’ – the gimmicks people put on to make buildings green. It’s really quite liberating for an architect.”

He promised that the new building would provide a much healthier working environment for the staff and 50-odd pupils. “We have an immense problem with toxic materials in buildings – we have 55,000 chemicals we use in building and only 3% of them have been tested for their effects on humans.

“The timber is very good at dealing with indoor moisture passively. In other words, you don’t need a ventilation system when you’ve actually got a material that’s dealing with the moisture. Continue reading

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on building school futures …

school things on my radar this weekend…

In May the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club will be held at Devonshire School, Blackpool an exemplar school that is a significant step forward in the design of learning environments for young children. Details of the event and site visit will be posted on the Events pages very soon

but … Building schools for the future is far too slow …. says the the NASUWT

Almost half of all teachers work in schools where water drips from the ceilings and windows do not fit properly, a study by the NASUWT concludes. A third complained of damp and slippery corridors, while one in five said lighting was poorly maintained. Most said they had to work in excessively hot or cold conditions and 30 per cent did not have easy access to drinking water.

Source: Scandal of Britain’s Crumbling Schools

What happened when Bright Green, an innovative green recruitment organisation brought together leaders from Britain’s top construction firms, sustainability consultancies, schools think-tanks with Kit Rogers, a teacher at Priestlands Secondary School, Hampshire, to discuss sustainability issues in schools?

Source: The Green School Dinner