Space and Learning: High Performing Green Learning Environments

By Clare Louise Newton.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the context of a research proposal to review the impact and success of a limited number of best practice green schools. Schools are best understood as complex systems in which the physical environment interacts with pedagogical, curricular, social, cultural, management and economic factors. Rather than thinking of environmental initiatives only in terms of energy benefits, it is useful to also consider how simple green palettes can transform school environments into 3D textbooks enhancing the school curriculum. Students can interact with buildings and develop better appreciation of issues such as seasonal changes, energy costs, comfort levels, wind dynamics, heat flow and water conservation. The building can also help students understand cultural, spatial and economic issues. To fully utilise the potential of buildings as 3D textbooks, teachers need to be more cognoscenti of the importance of the built environment within their educational discourse and to be active partners alongside designers at the conceptual school design stage.

Keywords: Green Schools, Schools as Complex Systems, Building Performance, Pedagogy and Space

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 6, pp.97-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 537.670KB).

Clare Louise Newton

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Before commencing at The University of Melbourne, Clare Newton was a Director of the architectural firm, Newton Hutson Pty Ltd. Her primary research and teaching interest is in the translation of architectural ideas into buildings. Currently, she is teaching Construction Technology and Architectural Design subjects in the undergraduate architecture course. In 1998, she received the Victorian NAWIC Award of Excellence for Innovation in Construction. Clare has been a Council Member of the Victorian Chapter of the RAIA (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001) and Chair of the RAIA Education Committee. She is an examiner for the Architects Registration Board of Victoria and a Tribunal member. She has been on RAIA award juries and was Chair of the Residential Category in 1998 and is currently State Convenor of Continuing Education for the RAIA. Since 1997, she has been awarded over a quarter of a million dollars in eight multimedia and research grants and is currently working on multimedia projects exploring the evolution of design ideas into built form. Her research includes work into how the construction process is represented within architectural documents. This research has been shown locally and overseas at information visualisation conferences and history conferences.

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