Most news we encounter involving K-12 education is very negative, revolving around the politics of common core, school of choice, and associated federal, state and local control issues. Behind these headlines, there is a radical revolution of teaching, technology, and learning environments supporting a new focus on individualized learning and collaborative project strategies. Overlaying additional influences like the charter movement, school specialization, joint use, and a focus on sustainability yields an extraordinary time of exciting change and challenge in school design.
A focus on individualized and small group learning requires school designers to think differently and re-imagine what physical environments are best suited in response to this significant change. The 30 student classroom can no longer be the only logical solution. New spaces that not only support larger group lecture, but individual and small group collaboratiion are of paramount importance. The modern workspace environments of tech companies like Google and many co-working businesses make an appropriate point of reference and often a good model. These spaces are necessarily designed specifically for the inclusion of technology in informal and flexible settings for individual and smaller group collaborative efforts.
While individual school districts educational goals and strategies most inform a schools design, the latest widely adopted trends are important components to be considered. Trends in school design include:
- More Open, flexible, collaborative space
- School of Choice / Charter movement (New funding options)
- Individual Learning through Technology
- School Specialization (Arts/STEM/Vocational)
- Preference for smaller class and school size
- Joint Use/Community Use (New funding options)
- Sustainable Design (Long Life Cycle/Good Example)
- Distance Learning
Many of these trends are cyclic. During the late 1960’s and 1970’s, open school designs with more flexible spaces were quite popular, but fell out of favor over time due to the difficulty in fostering change in teaching style. The missing component was educational technology. Innovations in both hardware and software technology now enable teachers to customize individual and group learning scenarios that in turn, again, require more diverse and non traditional learning environments.
People today have become accustomed to a world where homes, schools, offices and transportation systems are fully air conditioned. But the effect of such heating and cooling systems on the environment is tremendous and a big cause for concern. Apparently, air conditioners use nearly five percent of all the energy produced in the US. . . . → Read More: Keep Down The Cost of Cooling
While executing Architectural services for hundreds of school projects, PJHM Architects continued to innovate and implement energy conserving design on every project designed. Of note is our design for classroom natural lighting utilizing carefully configured sky-lighting in an integrated solution. This basic concept, with refinement, found its way into thousands of classrooms throughout California . . . → Read More: Daylighting with Advanced Skylights
We found a Web Site and blog that has a valuable focus for the Baby Boomer Generation. A sustainable retirement. It is the Hansen Lifestyle and is dedicated to Celebrating a Healthy, Active, Adult Lifestyle. It explores where to retire, the best preventive health and fitness regimens, lifelong learning, and additional income opportunities.
The site shares Healthy Home Business Ideas, . . . → Read More: Can Boomers find a Healthy, Sustainable Retirement?
The Garden House, an Ultra Green Sustainable Comfort Home located in Downtown St. George, Utah, completed in 2010, proves that Green design leads to more comfortable living year after year.
The Garden House is comprised of approx. 2000sf including 3 bedrooms and 2 baths with upgraded furnishings and finishes and many value added Ultra-Green features. It . . . → Read More: Utah’s Ultra Green Sustainable Comfort Home
Let’s make going Green a little more fun. We will give you green living tips all the way from A to Z.
Alternative Fuels – Research different types of fuel before purchasing a new car. Hydrogen can now be used to power newer models, along with other diverse fuels. Cars don’t only run . . . → Read More: A to Z of Energy Saving Tips
Some green living advocates are taking things beyond the limit, or at least beyond their Lifespan. This act of eco consciousness will potentially have a huge impact over time.
Green burial is a way of caring for the dead with minimal environmental impact that furthers legitimate ecological aims such as the conservation of natural . . . → Read More: Go “Green” with your Burial
The average office worker spends at least one third of his day in the office, almost half a day in the home office. Proper lighting is crucial for the overall health, mood and positive output of the office worker. There is a push underway to eliminate incandescent lighting by the year 2014 in the . . . → Read More: Energy Efficient Lighting Ideas For The Office
At Hansen Lifestyle we are focused on developing reliable, easily duplicatable techniques for
Resetting your Health, Turning back the Clock, and Transforming your Life.
Anyone can do it. It isn’t hard or complicated, but improving nutritional & physical conditioning using the right modern tools is critical as we take charge of our own preventive . . . → Read More: Living Green with Preventive Self Care
It’s good to be green. Although when it comes to moving house we can sometimes overlook the effects that our actions have on the environment. Read on to find some useful tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint and how to make the most use out of items you may have previously considered . . . → Read More: Plan an Environmentally Friendly Move to Your New Home