Local climate lessons for school design

Today’s school designs need to be able to adapt to the challenges of climate change. With the hugely ambitious programme to rebuild the 3,500 UK secondary schools over the next 15-20 years, we now have the opportunity to provide solutions at the earliest stages of design.

This research proposal considers the three significant developments which were cited in the 2007 UK government’s Sustainable Schools report: The Stern Review, stating the need for public investement in buildings to take account of climate change adaption; The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report suggesting considering adaption at the design stage as this would be considerably lower than later damage costs; The Draft Climate Change Bill target to reduce UK carbon emissions by 60% by 2050.

The research team of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Mike Davies (Professor in Building Physics and Environment at UCL) , Dejan Mumovic (Lecturer in Environmental Design and Engineering at UCL) and myself propose a three stage approach. Firstly, to consider sustainability indicators on existing school buildings to set the benchmark criteira. Secondly, to evaluate the environmental performance of schools. Thirdly, with the set of measured data develop a range of possible design solutions, produce the boundary future UK climate scenarios (via the LUCID project) and run the thermal simulation of school designs under the predicted climate change scenarios.