Digital natives—those born into today’s high-tech, 21st century environment—require an engaging curriculum to match their diverse learning styles and the digital tools used to share knowledge and information. Educational design and planning must support not only mobile devices, but mobile students. Whether it’s the device or the student, connectivity counts. Here are five tips to promote mobile learning in the classroom:Read More
Integrated Sustainable Design
“Makerspaces” are everywhere in educational facility discussions these days. If you’re unfamiliar, a makerspace is a space designed for students to explore and work through educational concepts via hands-on experimentation. Additionally, access to a makerspace may increase creative outputs in student projects.
Therefore, in order to be successful to improving student comprehension and retention, here are some guidelines that should be considered when implementing a makerspace in new construction or renovation:Read More
The only constant in educational design is change. To innovate, we must explore and imagine a future that engages students and empowers development of a culture for lifelong learning. Having an understanding and awareness of how students work and learn best as individuals encourages a deeper look at the design of an environment. Here are six concepts to promote student-centered design in the classroom:Read More
As our society becomes increasingly technology-dependent, the ability to program software and write code becomes increasingly important, and it’s never too early to start. In collaboration with Dr. Julie A. Zoellin Cramer at the University of San Diego’s Center for Education Policy and Law, we recently had the opportunity to “up-cycle” several unused portables for a creative classroom venture by the Cajon Valley Union School District (CVUSD): creating a new campus for students to learn coding.Read More
As part of our 50-year anniversary, we'll meet with each of the firm Principals and get their take on LPA, current projects and of course, sustainable design.Read More
Last month, I had the honor of presenting at a workshop concerning California’s drought and the impending water restrictions. The workshop—put on as a joint effort between the Coalition for Adequate School Housing (CASH) and Schools Energy Coalition (SEC)—was focused on helping K-12 school districts understand what the implications from California’s mandatory water reductions would be and to arm them with some tools and strategies to meet those reductions. The first half of the workshop focused on background information about the drought, Governor Brown’s executive order and which entities are being affected by the executive order. The second half of the workshop brought together a panel of mostly school district facility directors and myself to provide some real-world case studies that show how a school district might reduce its landscape water use.Read More
Architectural signage is necessary to inform people how to navigate through a campus or building. In designer-speak, this signage is commonly referred to as wayfinding. While it’s an important aspect of signage, environmental graphics can accomplish so much more than that — influencing mood and behavior, increasing student engagement, reinforcing school spirit and pride, and creating a culture of community — all while directing people to their destination.
Brazilian architect Joao Batista Vilanova Artigas said, "I admire poets. What they express with a couple of words, requires us a ton of brick." As designers, planners, educators and builders of 21st century learning spaces, we are really dealing with far more practical realities than even a ton of brick, as Artigas describes. We aspire to address the substantial demands for practicality and at the same time achieve something more significant—something I will call “the Poetic.”
Topics: integrated design process, CEFPI, California School Architecture, K-12 Schools, McBride High School, K-12 Green Schools, 21st century schools, sustainable schools, Ernest S. McBride High School, Don Pender, Community Based Master Planning
By Guest Blogger Kimberley Coffeen, CEFPI, LEED AP BD+C
We are living through a time where many industries and fields are facing a dramatic shift. Educational programming and K-12 school design are certainly no exceptions. While there are many ways to address the needs of today’s learning environments, not all need to be grandiose. Instead, we can focus on small moves that will have the greatest change, like buying new furniture, improving connectivity and developing a technology plan that supports long-term training and upkeep. Today, we dive into five trends in K-12 school design and their impacts to education:
Recent studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Labs indicate that more than half of Calif. K-12 classrooms do not meet code-required ventilation rates, while properly ventilated classrooms reduce student absences associated with illness. Additional studies by the same researchers have demonstrated that occupants of under-ventilated spaces demonstrate impaired decision making performance.
It is clear that a well-designed classroom that includes proper ventilation, good acoustics, superior indoor air quality (IAQ) and abundant daylight has a positive impact on students’ attendance, concentration and performance. At Montgomery Middle School, each classroom includes multiple systems and design elements that combine to provide a healthy, efficient and adaptable green school environment.
Topics: Operable Windows, LEED for Schools, healthy schools, renovating existing schools, Sweetwater Union High School District, Engineering, K-12 Schools, LEED Platinum Public School, Integrated Sustainable Design, Indoor Air Quality, Erik Ring