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August 2009 Archives

August 3, 2009

Architects Make Case for Green Schools

According to a recent AIA Angle (an email published by the American Institute of Architects), "AIA leaders told U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan last week that architects are ready to help improve education through better designed schools."

Follow this link for the full story:


August 4, 2009

School Lockers

In an attempt to control contraband, many schools have eliminated student lockers. However, eliminating lockers can cause other problems, including overloaded backpacks or the need to purchase duplicate copies of text books.

The July 2009 edition of School Planning & Management offers some ideas on how schools can keep lockers:


August 8, 2009

Continuing Education Opportunity for Architects

From Architectural Record and McGraw-Hill:

Upgrading School Facilities: Rebuilding the Nation's Schools for High Performance

I have not taken the course (yet), so please send feedback if you take the course.


August 13, 2009

Classroom Acoustics

Architects, engineers, and educators are becoming more aware of the importance of good classroom acoustics. According to a February 2009 fact sheet from the United States Access Board:

Acoustical performance is an important consideration in the design of classrooms. Research indicates that levels of background noise and reverberation little noticed by adults, who are mature and skillful listeners, adversely affect learning environments for young children, who require optimal conditions for hearing and comprehension. Poor classroom acoustics are an additional educational barrier for children who have hearing loss and those who use cochlear implants, since assistive technologies amplify both wanted and unwanted sound. Children who have temporary hearing loss, who may comprise up to 15% of the school age population according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), are also significantly affected, as are children who have speech impairments or learning disabilities. Kids whose home language is different than the teaching language are also at additional risk of educational delay and failure.

The Access Board fact sheet:


An overview of classroom acoustics from Architectural Record magazine:


Build Green, Save Green ($$$)

From the July/August 2009 edition of School Construction News:


August 18, 2009

Beautiful Schools

When one considers all of the adjectives (safe, accessible, high-achieving) commonly applied to schools, the word "beautiful" might not necessarily come to mind. The Mississippi School Design Guidelines, however, opens with the challenge to design beautiful schools. And while this might sound corny, the idea is an old one. The Western world's first architectural theoretician, the Roman architect Vitruvius, wrote that all architecture should display three qualities:

Firmness (structural stability and integrity)
Commodity (usefulness)

Although "delight" and "beauty" might not mean the same thing (and certainly not the same thing to different people), the bigger idea conveyed by Vitruvius and echoed by the MSDG is clear: our buildings -- our schools -- should do more than just stand up and perform a function. Our children and our communities deserve better.

The following link to the MSDG contains the section on Beautiful Schools:


August 23, 2009

Despite Obvious Benefits, Green Can Be a Hard Sell

From the GreenSource WebInsider:


Using Ceiling Fans for Comfort

Why are ceiling fans so helpful on a Southern porch? The air movement they create helps to mitigate the effects of our hot, humid summer air.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55 now recognizes that air movement, not just ideal temperature settings, can help create thermal comfort. This is important because moving air is less expensive than (over) conditioning it.

From the GreenSource WebInsider:


About August 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Educational Design Institute in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2009 is the previous archive.

September 2009 is the next archive.

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