Solar Powered Treehouse Classrooms Unveiled in the UK
Recently the Elleray Preparatory School in the UK unveiled an incredible set of tree-top classrooms. Situated in the Lake District National Park, the three green-built class pods stand on stilts connected by a center platform made from recycled materials. Built to have a low impact on the environment while accommodating the school’s expanding student body, the Treehouse School is sure to inspire all the children the walk through its doors.
The three pods were designed and built by Robert Gaukroger of Kita Design Company, based in Windermere, which is where the school is based as well. Built on an incredibly tight budget due to limited funds, Gaukroger actually donated an amount of design time and building effort equivalent to one of the pods. Each unit is constructed from a ribbed timber frame set upon Douglas fir stilts and then clad in English chestnut shingles. Connecting the three classrooms is a deck made from recycled plastic milk bottles and wood shavings, and in the summer the deck will be used as an outdoor classroom.
As with many of Gaukroger’s projects, the Treehouse School is focused on “up-cycled, re-cycled and low-impact Architecture and design”. The pods received a BREAM “excellent” score and feature a high efficiency heating and cooling system that utilizes a ground-source heat pump. Rainwater is collected to cut down on potable water use, and solar panels are mounted along the center of each roof to provide lighting for each building. Located in a forest clearing, the wonderful setting and elevated views from the treehouse classrooms surely make for a more exciting way to spend a day at school.
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