Friday, September 19, 2014

Schools: Can the Building Be the Teacher?

For this week's Y.E.O.W we'd like to share with you the idea of the integrated learning experience and learning from the actual building students use everyday.
We will focus on Renaissance Academy Secondary School (Grades 6-12) in Virginia Beach, Virginia, architect RRMM.
This building utilizes different sustainability and design strategies to educate its students and demonstrate through building usage the importance of sustainability.



Why use artificial lighting if you can use daylight?

Daylit spaces are supplemented with dimming ballast electric lighting with photosensor and occupancy sensor controls. All classrooms provide natural daylight which optimizes the students work performance by 30% as opposed to artificial lighting.
There are 19 Light tubes pipe sunlight into interior spaces


Need more green space? Why not use the roof?

Vegetated (Green) Roof – Red in Winter & green in Summer. Insulates building,filters & holds storm water & is a pleasant sight from the second story rooms. Students take trips on the walkable green roof to explore the vegetation and view the storm water systems.


How is the building powered?

Photovoltaic power production
Solar thermal heating of kitchen and process water
Geothermal-tied Kitchen refrigerant

Solar Thermal Collectors

Students can learn how much power the building is generating at the kiosk in the main entry of the school.
Building Systems Data Public Display – publicly accessible, interactive, real-time displays of building energy use and production, water use and collection, carbon emissions, dollars saved, air quality, etc.



What happens to the rain water?

Rainwater collection used for toilet flushing, which is then dyed blue and the students can identify this is collected rain water being used now as grey water through the building. Clear pipes are located throughout the building so students can see the transformation and usage from rain water to grey water.



Wind Turbines

Converting Kinetic Energy from the Wind into Electric Power. Students can see the data from this in the kiosk information board.  

Zero Runoff Site



Students are learning all this information before even opening a textbook. Should all schools be required to incorporate integrated learning through building design? Imagine if you could learn more about a building then leaky roofs from your grammar school. Can this create a new and more enlightened generation of students?  

1 comment:

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