‘Currently we @Goldmine are developing a Design for a School + College building as EDUCATION is the most Powerful Weapon you can use TO CHANGE THE WORLD. We need to educate the students in the right way. Along with the curriculum and studies, we need to educate about their responsibility towards the climate. As an initiative, we have proposed to the client on building a Green School’, says Ketan Sheth, Goldmine Project Consultant Pvt. Ltd.
Green schools improve the health of students, faculty and staff; A Green School is a school that creates a healthy environment conducive to learning, while saving energy, environmental resources, and money. Also, the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) has come up with the ‘Green School Movement,’ a program that attempts to provide nature-friendly environment and promote green practice in young minds. We are closely working with Mrs. Mala Singh – an IGBC member and MD of PEC-Greening India.
Along with other values, students should also learn how to care for the Environment.
Make them aware of their responsibilities towards the Environment.
Students will not waste the Resources available to them.
And if they can keep a track of the amount of water and electricity wasted, then they can be guided to reduce the wastage of natural resources.
There are a few schools who have won the green school award and to name a few are the following:
- Delhi public School : They efficiently harvest rainwater, segregate waste, and are designed to be energy efficient. Also, the school has totally banned junk food and packaged juices inside its campus.
- The Fab India School, Pali, Rajasthan: The school installed 13.5 kilo Watts (kW) of solar power, which provides them with nearly 90 per cent of the energy requirements.
- Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kerala: Waste generated in the school is used as fuel for the biogas plant, which ensures a consistent supply of gas. Plastic is totally banned inside the school campus. The school also channels the water through trenches which recharges the school’s groundwater, and some of it is even allowed to flow down to the nearby forests.
- Government Jr. High School, Mangzing, South Sikkim: This has been selected as the TOP 10 performers of the GSP (Green Schools Program).
One Example of well Designed International Green School is Hong Kong’s French International School
With its wide array of sustainable measures, ranging from the choice of materials to the many passive designs to economize energy and ensure great daylight, to the way the school is able to share spaces with the surrounding community, the new campus of FIS offers lessons in sustainable architecture for pupils and local builders.’ The campus is also quite literally green as it boasts a 550-sq.m botanical garden of plants native to South China, multi-story hanging gardens, a perimeter fence adorned with plants, and 42 trees. The FIS becomes an oasis amongst the extensive spans of concrete that make up the urban Hong Kong.
Following points are considered while designing a Green School:
Site Selection & Planning
- Having a Universal Design which is accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors;
- Creating a Passive design including Day-lighting and Natural ventilation as per the location of site and the climate;
- Site management during the construction period;
- Reduce wastage of materials water and electricity.
- Using 3R technique of REDUCE RECYCLE & REUSE. Reduction of water usage by using greener fixture products and also by monitoring and metering, measuring the intake of water in various parts of the building;
- Recycle water by Rain water harvesting and Recycling waste water using Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). And the water from STP goes to treated water tanks and is Reused for gardening and flushing purpose;
- Set up BIOGAS plant and use the gas for Canteen and Pantries. Use of Solar water heater for canteens wash area, labs and pantries
Eco-Friendly School Materials
Cool Roof Paints, Green Certified Products. Energy Efficient Appliances. Conserving and Harvesting Energy by using Solar systems and Lighting fixtures that consume less Energy. Energy saving air Conditioners and fresh Air inlets. Solar energy helps save on power consumption to a great extent and is very useful for cost cutting; it is also an important factor for Green Design.
Health and Hygiene
Hygienic and Safe drinking water facilities, clean toilets, healthy food provided by school and not allow junk food in school premises. Play area for games and exercise to keep students active and healthy. Organic pesticides and Fertilizers used in Gardens.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Anthropometric design for better experience. Toxin free environment by using healthy paints. Dust-free interiors. Provide adequate ventilation with good amount of day lighting and make best use of Natural lighting. Optimizing classroom acoustics; so children can hear clear and echoless sound is a primary foundation for learning. (When working and learning in a high-performing acoustic environment, students and teachers are given the opportunity for effective communication. In this way, a green school provides an environment that lessens distractions, encourages participation, and instills a sense of pride and importance in all of its students).
Green Building Education
Adding Green Education Lectures and Learning to the educational curriculum. Providing Green Education through Signage. (By using Signage, students can be guided towards Green and Eco-friendly practices towards maintaining the green school and the Environment.
In our design, due to lack of site open space, we have proposed a green terrace for students to carry out their extra-curricular activities.
In cities, due to constrain of open spaces, common spaces can be planned on terraces. High railings to be provided for the safety of students. Also, Green roofs benefit biodiversity, storm water management and reduce the heat island effect.
We have also proposed a Herbal Garden to create greenery around the structure. A herbal garden adds to the green quotient of the building and is of educational use.
The medicinal and aromatic plants of the Himalayan mountains are an invaluable biological resource, closely associated with health care, cuisine, traditions, and culture. These plants have been grown or collected for thousands of years, and the traditional knowledge about the plants and their uses has been handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation.
But with the change in lifestyles, the younger generation is losing this knowledge. We need to help young people learn about the fascinating world of herbal plants, their many uses, and the joy of seeing them grow and using them.
The objectives are to
- Raise awareness on the culinary use of herbs, and their medicinal properties.
- Setting up a herbal garden that is fun and rewarding, and a great learning experience.
- To help students, teachers, and families learn about, and recognize the importance of, the herbal plants that are a part of our everyday life.
(Following is the checklist of the amenities provided in the school
Classrooms; Science laboratory; Mathematics laboratory; Computer laboratory; Auditorium/Art gallery/Assembly hall; Play-ground – Multi-sports Turf; Canteen/cafeteria; Admin Block – Fee Collection area/back office/Meeting room/ Board room; Cabins –CEO/Chairman/Secretary/ Principal/ Vice-principal; Training room; Seminar Room; PTA Meeting room / Interaction Room; Extra-activity room/Breakout area; Gymnasium / Gymnastics area; Yoga room, Meditation room Staff room (Teachers room); Store Room; Floor Supervisor Room; Washrooms –Boys / Girls; Drinking water area; Safety & security; Medical room with ambulance facility; Science Workshop; Music/ Dance/ Drama Room; Audio Visual/ Dark Room; Indoor sports area; Herbal / Botanical Garden; Home Science Lab; Teachers’ Resource Room; Psychology room for Counsellor guidance; Library; Common rooms; Study room for Teachers; Separate Tiffin room for teachers and Students; Changing room for Non-teaching staff
Smart classrooms are provided that foster opportunities for teaching and learning by integrating learning technology, such as computers, specialized software, audience response technology, assistive listening devices, networking, and audio/visual capabilities.
In our effort to Design and Propose a Green School, we have tried to convince the client that Building a Green School is a right way forward. Also, we have tried to project that a Green school’s budget is same as that of a Conventional School and the choice is the only thing that matters. Also, in near future, a Green School will provide lot of budget-saving as it will consume less resources as compared to a Conventional one. For a Green School project to be successful, not only the designer or developer is responsible; but also the staff, and each and every person who are part of the institution need to participate actively to save the environment. It’s time we take responsibilities of our actions and jointly work towards a Greener tomorrow.