Education buildings: can we do better?

Posted on by melanie

School’s back for autumn: and as students of all ages settle into the swing of the new academic year Melanie Thompson of Get Sust! inspects the prospects for education buildings – from glamorous award-winners, to hives and pods.

Two out of the six finalists for this year’s Stirling Prize are education buildings. This should come as no surprise, considering that the very first winner of the Prize, back in 1996, was also an education building (the Centenary Building, Salford University, designed by the current RIBA President, Stephen Hodder).

Universities in particular are keen to raise their profiles through the medium of iconic buildings and, more than ever, such buildings need to be – and be seen to be – exemplars of sustainability. Indeed, NBS’s second Sustainability Survey, published earlier in October, suggests that new-build education facilities are more likely than other building types to be exemplars of sustainable construction.

That is all well and good, but “education” begins many years before students get the inside view of these modern design icons.

The RIBA’s recent “manifesto” for the built environment Building a Better Britain gave school-level architecture a particularly bad report, saying: …Read the whole article on the NBS Sustainability website.

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