This unconventional façade has turned out to be a wise energy choice for the International Grammer School in Sydney Australia. Recently claiming an award for the best use of glass for energy efficiency, the building’s outstanding energy performance is only eclipsed by its unusual look. But the design is more than skin deep, Allen Jack+Cottier Architects was able to incorporate PV and passive cooling and a rooftop playground into the prefabricated panelized school house – the pieces can even be taken apart if needed!
While all the wall and floor panels were made off-site, the design is far from cooking cutter. Due to fast track design implementation by the school district, more provocative designs are being accepted in the historically stogy acceptance process. The amoeba like windows indicate the playful intention of learning, and the wall design serves a vital role in energy saving as well by being carefully calibrated to open to the prevailing winds the building makes use of natural cooling.
Other natural resources are used as well. A rooftop solar electric array provides clean energy as well as teaching vehicle for energy issues. Rainwater is captured for the building’s plumbing and future vegetable garden.
The pre-fabricated concrete walls were pre-insulated to provide efficiency in construction and a quality energy-efficient envelope. If the need arises to modify the school, the walls can be moved to allow for further adaptation of the building.