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5 Sustainable Classroom Design Trends for 2018

Tori Atkinson

As the realities of climate change, depleted fossil fuels, and natural resources remain a red-hot topic, it’s important we recognize our environmental impact and identify alternative ways of living that are greener and more sustainable. With regards to the educational sector, one aspect that’s coming to the forefront is sustainable classroom design and construction -- using green materials and energy-efficient processes to reduce environmental impact.

With the growing need to meet certain social, economic and environmental demands while also satisfying the needs of students, in today’s post, we’ll be looking at some of the most effective school and classroom design trends that put the planet first without compromising on education.

1. Recycled Materials for Classroom Design

With an eye on sustainability, the use of recycled or reclaimed materials within school design can make a significant difference in terms of lowering the environmental effects of construction. With a wide variety of recycled and reclaimed materials available, it’s possible to make eco-conscious choices for all manner of building elements -- be it recycled steel girders or reclaimed bricks. Opting for materials that can be reused time and time again results in less waste and lower energy consumption during the material manufacturing process, too.

2. Modular Construction

With the spotlight on the construction industry to find more sustainable and energy efficient building practices, modular construction methods are proving to be an increasingly popular building solution across a number of sectors, including education. Manufactured offsite in a controlled environment, volumetric room modules are revolutionizing large-scale construction -- offering significant savings on cost, time and resources throughout the build process.

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Seamlessly implemented onsite and built with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind, these progressive construction solutions meet both economic and environmental objectives, which are a top priority for many schools.

3. Passive Buildings

As our reliance on fossil fuels reaches a critical point, many forward-thinking educational institutions are seeking new ways to reduce not only their environmental impact, but also their reliance on and consumption of energy. One way to do this is to harness the power of passive buildings.

Designed to retain heat and efficiently maintain a constant temperature through the use of insulating materials and innovative technology, passive buildings have the ability to make educational spaces more functional, comfortable, and energy-efficient from the outset. This, in turn, will reduce energy consumption and promote a positive message to pupils.

4. Sustainable Building Materials

The use of sustainable building materials is fast becoming the norm in construction, as more new and innovative products enter the market each year. Affordable, durable and eco-friendly, the use of sustainable materials in school design offers a raft of benefits, from an economic and environmental perspective.

From sustainable concrete alternatives, such as the low-maintenance miracle that is self-healing concrete, to natural materials like cork and bamboo, which are highly sustainable and readily available, sustainable building materials are seeing increased usage in modern builds.

5. Versatile Spaces

As the demands of teachers and students evolve, it seems there’s more need to create versatile classrooms and communal areas that can be adapted to cater to a wide variety of uses. This also means a more environmentally friendly outcome, as flexible educational spaces negate the need for new construction by utilizing existing areas effectively -- saving money and energy in the process.

As the demand for and use of sustainable construction methods continues to grow within the education sector, more and more projects are incorporating green materials and energy-efficient processes to pave the way for a more planet-friendly approach to designing and building educational spaces.

Image source 1: Unsplash

Image source2 : Unsplash