Basically, an everyday conversation…
Where do you see the future of school design going?
Generally, the future of design is green and so is school design. It is not at all different.
What do you mean by Green?
This is basically sustainable design, because Green is an all-encompassing term that even if we spent the whole day trying to break it down, we would still fail quite miserably.
How best would you then simplify Green design?
Well, let us look at the choice of materials for use on a project. In my opinion, repurposing materials from pre-existing buildings for use either in the grey shell or in fittings and fixtures of new builds is the most sustainable example there is. Another one would be reusing materials cleared from the site instead of disposing of them.
How does reused material cleared from a site work?
In the case of trees cut down from a site during clearing, these can be processed into lumber. This lumber of course should be dried in a kiln and treated with preservatives before use, but it takes a long time to be ready for use so it might not quite be the best option for time sensitive projects.
Alternatively, on the off chance that a site is endowed with good soil, this can be reused for laterite purposes. This method is as time saving as it is cost saving, in that it cuts down on time spent on procuring materials and waiting for delivery on site. Money saved here would then be spent to meet other demands the project might have.
There really are a lot of materials sites can provide us to work with, one just needs to keep an open mind.
Is this not where the concept of the greater evil comes into play? Could you be so kind as to shade more light on the same?
Certainly, this is that time. It is about the action that wreaks the least havoc on the environment and going with it. Having already mentioned repurposed timber what we are saying is that materials obtained from a demolition – which in itself is awe so sustainable – is lighter on the environment in that fuel is only burned on transportation than processing the trees into lumber which burns more fuel, is. From the two examples we can see that the former has a less negative impact on the environment than the latter does. Basically, what this does is help us leave behind a more habitable environment for future generations than we found it even after we are gone.
Is there anything else that can be added to what has just been explained?
Of course, burning fuels are a nuisance on the climate and it is the biggest culprit of global warming so the construction industry should make it a point to reduce on processes that require a lot of burning of fuel. Furthermore, if we reduced the footprints of our buildings by going a few storeys upwards we would be able to moderate the extent of flora damaged and the extent of fauna disturbed from its natural habitation. This is really good for the ecosystem.
We shall talk about the importance of
maintaining a healthy ecosystem another time. In conclusion, what features exist in the school designs of the future?
This will vary from one designer to the next, naturally, but mine would be vanished timber frames, large windows, double volume height buildings, multipurpose outdoor amphitheatres and of course sports spaces for recreation.
And on that note, thank you very much to everyone who came.