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Wood Clad Science Academy Showcases Sustainable Design
The recently unveiled Langley Academy in the Berkshires, UK, is yet another exemplary model of sustainable education facilities. Designed by Inhabitat favorite Foster + Partners, the gorgeous wood clad academy focuses its curriculum around sciences and the environment. With dedicated science laboratories, a unique floorplan, and a design focused on green building, these 1,100 students have an amazing and inspirational place to learn. Now if only all of our buildings had this much thought put into them.
The Academy was formally opened on November 12th to a student body of 1,100. Clad entirely in wood, the building is shaded by vertical and horizontal louvers. A central atrium, which houses the main assembly areas, gym and auditorium, has two arms extending out that contain classrooms, labs and offices. The floorplan, which was partially inspired by museums, is unique in the sense that the school operates around indoor streets flanked on the sides by classrooms, so everything is very open. Inside the central atrium are three yellow drum-like forms raised on columns, which house science labs.
In terms of sustainability, a solar hot water system is mounted on the roof of the building, and the pipes run openly throughout the building so students can see how the system works. Rainwater is collected from the roof, then stored and works in conjunction with a grey water system, which helps reduce the school’s water consumption by 20%. Part of the school curriculum centers around the sustainable technologies within the school as well as environmental issues. Additionally, the school’s facilities are also open to the greater public for community events to make it more useful.
Photos by by Nigel Young
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