The Next Generation of Sustainability Begins with Education
Sustainable design, building and construction isn’t just about today’s innovations and ideas – it’s also about tomorrow’s possibilities with a focus on educational settings.
Next generation innovators of sustainable building in Victoria start at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. The Smart Green Schools: Educational and Environmental Outcomes of Innovation in School initiative, a project funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project grant, investigates the influence of innovative and sustainable school building designs on the education of middle years students.
Observed in four different school settings in Victoria, this type of research and the application of sustainable design is an investment in our future. It serves the community by raising the awareness of green outcomes in the next generation.
The University of Melbourne stated that this project focused on understanding how learning spaces might support new and future pedagogical approaches to teaching and learning, including the integration of information, communications and multimedia technologies.
Interestingly, the research suggested that teachers do no perceive the physical environment as a major component of education yet the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute summarise that “…a healthy school environment which efficiently uses energy resources and information technology will help ‘strengthen Australia’s social economic fabric’ in the longer term and support student engagement.”
The Green Building Council Australia also supports “greening your school”, a building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money. They promote learning environments that are both sustainable and inspiring, where natural light, fresh air, innovative design and green features come together to provide a living lesson in environmental sustainability.
With over 3.4 million full time students in more than 9,500 schools across Australia and a further 1.3 million students in tertiary education, could greening education facilities be a new market for you?