Though online and distance learning modes of education have carved a niche for themselves, yet for many students carrying their studious activities in a brick and mortar classroom is still an indispensable part of their lives! But, jumping on classrooms of the future, one can say that they will be the ones that will produce more energy than they consume. Not only that; they will be portable too. Presently, there is a wave of educational buildings that carry the ‘energy positive’ label which insinuates that they are eco-friendly.
A school building such as the above would save the school a lot in terms of power bills in addition to saving the environment. They would also eliminate reliance on artificial lighting and air conditioning thus making them energy efficient. Smart Space is the site to visit to learn how these structures can be set up.
Energy efficiency in any building begins with a well-insulated building envelope. An expertly designed and well-maintained ventilation system brings in the fresh air and creates a tight wrap. An enhanced envelope design aids in reducing the size and cost of the mechanical systems. The pursuers of this design do it by cutting down on the energy lost through the envelope. The use of a 6-inch layer of closed-layer polyurethane foam in place of batt insulation achieves this effect.
The foam produces higher insulation than batt because it is much thicker. However, it is pricier than
The design of the classroom has a lot to do with how energy-efficient it is. The saw-tooth design enhances efficiency. Creating a classroom with is energy efficient is an exchange of input and output. The intention is to reduce the amount of energy used because to conserve energy is cheaper than to produce it.
The Use of Solar Panels
The temporary building uses solar panels to generate energy. The roof, referred to as a factory roof is slating and jagged and with the north-facing windows, this roof shape is efficient at daylight. The windows also lie low which enables the escape of hot air thereby providing ventilation.
The sloping roof also provides an excellent way to shed rainwater. Before electricity gained popularity, these roofs were popular especially with large factories. This was because they could get both ventilation and light. Once electricity became easily accessible and cheap, flat roofs replaced them. This, however, does diminish how effective the factory roof design is in allowing buildings to let in natural light and
All the windows in the temporary building open and close easily which means that airflow is constant and can be easily adjusted. It also means that there is an endless supply of fresh air within the building and one doesn’t need air conditioners to ensure efficient circulation. This ultimately makes it cheaper since there is barely any need for artificial power.
Energy efficient buildings are good news for not only educational institutions but also the world at large. It shows that educational institutions are openly embracing technology. It definitely shows that the technology can be expanded to the surrounding neighborhood thus contributing to an eco-friendly environment that will benefit all. This is a projection for the future. Clean air plus cheaper energy is good news for all.
The truth is the world is working to move forward into an energy efficient and therefore eco-friendly future. Energy efficient educational buildings are only the beginning. They are an indication of the myriads of possibilities open for a cleaner and healthier environment.
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