Schools must ensure a safe and distraction free environment for children to prosper. In the general sense, a school should be an oasis of learning free of noise and protected from the elements as much as feasible. To this end, landscaping and hardscaping should not only attempt to provide constructive areas for children to play but possibly contribute to the reduction of cooling expenses through shading.
The school experience starts and ends with the arrival and departure of students. The control of traffic areas is critical to student safety and the efficient transfer of students from home to school via busses and personal vehicles. We design safe traffic loops for busses and cars to enter the school space and exit with minimal disturbance and delay.
After the children are on the property, they should feel comfortable and secure. Proper security fencing and site amenities, such as drinking fountains that don’t clog, help to validate these feelings. Our experience with site planning makes for better design. One concept is to arrange the buildings so that children are visible during recess for increased security.
A good building design will make the classroom a great tool for facilities administrators and teachers alike. Quality workmanship will keep maintenance costs under control, and with BIM allow for major repairs to be budgeted well in advance, such as roofs and HVAC units. A good design will allow teachers to make use of interior spaces to their advantage for the children’s’ benefit while keeping temperature, noise, humidity and other environmental factors under control.