Template schools: measuring indoor environmental quality

  • YEAR
    Crawford, Robert H
    Jensen, Christopher
    Chan, Toong-khuan
    Hes, Dominique
    Aye, Lu
    2011 Conference Papers
    Sustainability Issues


ABSTRACT: The Australian Federal Government announced the Nation Building – Economic Stimulus
Plan in February 2009 in response to the global financial crisis of 2008. A major component of this plan
was the Building the Education Revolution (BER) plan, designed to create jobs and infrastructure
projects for the modernisation of schools around Australia. The funding resulted in 24,000 projects
nationwide and architectural firms were subcontracted by the State Governments to design ‘templates’
that schools could choose from for their new buildings.

With many of these buildings now fully operational, there is an urgent need for data on the performance
of these template designs to ensure government funds are being spent effectively and to ensure
Australian children have access to facilities that support their learning. This paper addresses the indoor
environmental quality (IEQ) associated with a selection of these template designs to provide evidence
on how these new learning spaces are performing. Further related research will address the
implications of these designs from a number of other perspectives, including: pedagogy, professional
development, user satisfaction, use of information and communication technology (ICT), life cycle
environmental impacts and costs and procurement. The aim of this study was to observe the indoor
CO2 concentration, lighting, humidity and temperature levels within three occupied template learning
spaces with the objective of establishing an appropriate methodology that could be used on a wider
ranging and longer term study. The findings suggest that the environmental systems within these
buildings need further adjustment to ensure temperature and CO2 concentration levels are within
acceptable limits. It was found that, though mostly performing well, current CO2 levels in some spaces
are more than the desirable maximum limits at certain times and may be causing unnecessary
tiredness in the occupants of the buildings.


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