At a time when major climate change and aspiration for sustainable economic and social development have become major issues, the objective of this guide is to consider school retrofitting from a holistic point of view by developing guidelines not just in terms of energy performances or solar systems but also in terms of comfort, quality of life, environmental impact and resource consumption.
Across Europe and worldwide, infant, primary and secondary schools are essential tools in the construction of tomorrow's society and transmission of democratic values.
Schools are, first and foremost, places for opening up to the world, to the acquisition of knowledge and places for socialisation: three indispensable foundations for becoming a citizen of tomorrow's world, capable of good governance.
This is a fundamental role in our societies. In order to fulfill this role, schools must provide places for training and teaching that are comfortable and of high quality. This is currently not the situation in Europe. Most school buildings are old, dilapidated and poorly insulated. Heating systems too are old and often cannot be regulated. Ventilation systems, if any, are inefficient. Outdoor spaces and playgrounds are often restricted and of poor quality.
This lack of comfort has negative and scientifically proven consequences on pupils’ concentration and learning. This is why school buildings have an urgent need of fundamental refurbishment.
Moreover, sustainable and cost-efficient refurbishment of school buildings provides a real opportunity for making pupils, teachers and parents aware of energy efficiency as well as comfort and the quality of indoor and outdoor environments. School buildings, their technical equipment and operation can be used as a showcase for the pupils and their families. A showcase that, once experienced, can influence their attitudes and lead them to behave in a more responsible and public-spirited way.
This guide is mainly intended for architects and architecture students and also for principals and other school administrative authorities.
Richly illustrated with both explanatory diagrams and photographs, the guide provides designers with information and resources needed to retrofit school buildings in a responsible and efficient way.