Sustainable architecture and classrooms of the future have finally come together in an Australian green building concept that is out of this world. The latest renderings of what is arguably one of world’s most impressive sustainable educational facilities have been released and already they are causing a stir in both architectural and green building fields.
Created by architectural firm LAVA, the aptly named ‘classroom of the future’ is a design concept that sees the creation of a prefabricated, relocatable learning environment, which incorporates innovative and clever design features.
The key point of uniqueness that this design concept holds is that it is versatile. The layout of the proposed building includes a prefabricated timber roof, three timber service modules, smart panels that act as operable windows and include ‘smart’ infill panels and a ground level plinth with underground rain water collection tanks, all of which will be insulated according to the clime of the building’s location.
Customisation of the design is maximised by the three modules’ ability to interconnect in several variations, allowing the rooms to be shaped around changing class sizes.
Exterior landscape environment will also act as a makeshift outdoor class area and become a part of scholastic activities.
The design features a number of key sustainable energy generation facets. Evaporative cooling systems will be linked to the underground water tanks and in-floor water pipework will give the structure thermal mass, therefore stabilising interior temperatures and minimising associated energy used for heating and cooling.
A rooftop canopy also aids in sun protection, rainwater collection and what has been labeled as a ‘thin-film PV for electricity generation’.
Depending on the needs and functions of the different educational facilities the modules can be doubled up and heaped atop one another in order to create a double storey building. Greenroofs are included in all of the design variations.
Not only does this design concept offer to create a learning environment that can be moulded to the needs of both the environment and the children using it, it also offers a new, high standard of prefabricated school rooms removing the current stigma associated with buildings of this nature.
The design concept, if made a reality, offers an intriguing way to change how our industry deals with educational facility construction and design. It could in fact, bring about the beginning of a sustainably-driven educational sector.