In the face of climate change and tight school budgets it's increasingly important to provide reliably comfortable environments for education without the additional carbon and financial costs.
Comprehensive systems such as Passivhaus or Enerphit can provide demonstrable benefits, but aren’t easily applied to the wide range of existing school buildings in the UK.
An alternative is to look at low-tech, passive design principles that can help create a comfortable environment. Using these approaches, the cost of carbon-intensive systems can be largely avoided. Another clear benefit is the increase in intelligibility of the building, avoiding “black-box” systems that cannot be readily understood by the staff and students; a simple opening window can be operated by a student, whereas a centralised mechanical system can confuse even seasoned facilities managers.
The following steps are recommendations that can be used in new and existing schools alike, representing significant ways potential overheating in schools can be managed, based on work undertaken by FCBStudios, the CIBSE School Design group, the DfE, and Ann Griffin, RIBA Client Adviser and Director of Architects Collaborative.