Schools and universities face financial pressures on a daily basis. Their job is tough. How can they keep money in their tight pockets while still improving the educational experiences of their students?
The answer, of course, is not simple. Designing a space requires architects and designers to go through a complex myriad of issues, including finding new sustainable trends and principles to match the educational institutions’ budgets. The result is smart design principles that not only improve the sustainability of the project but also create stunning spaces that are both functional and efficient.
Sustainable design combines the use of renewable and recycled materials, water and energy-conserving building systems and space-utilization strategies that reduce the footprint of the building and have a long-lasting effect on future interactions and use.
As with any other design endeavor, designers need to understand their users and how staff and students interact with the spaces to work and learn through their numerous mindsets and thought processes. For example, the next generation, raised on smartphones and tablets have a different set of expectations and space requirements than the generations before them, which are pushing the boundaries of school design. Flexible furniture systems are a long-term sustainable solution that allows students the chance for quiet studying and collaborative group projects if required.
Sustainable design requires buildings to have a smaller physical footprint in space consumption to reduce maintenance, utilities and other costs associated with larger buildings, energy and water consumption and material life cycle.
Low-flow toilets, water-efficient urinals such as the Hybrid, low-flow faucets and tankless water heaters can reduce schools’ water demand. To save energy consumption, schools and universities can use dimmers, occupancy sensors and low-voltage lighting. LED fixtures variety of color temperatures can, in fact, increase the productivity of students.
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