Wednesday, December 5, 2012

10 Mistakes to Avoid in School Design

By: Scott Burge, AIA, LEED AP
Senior Architect, Farnsworth Group, Inc.

 Examples of natural lighting, acoustic panels and color selections.  

Anyone who has ever participated in a construction project knows there are always things they wished they would have done differently. They may find themselves reflecting: “If only I had done ... ,” or, “I wish I would have spent more effort considering …”

Budgets and / or time constraints might make this unavoidable, but it is vital to ensure these words aren’t uttered about crucial or large-ticket items. To have a successful school construction project, we suggest avoiding these “Tumultuous 10”:

Mistake #1 - Not carefully evaluating the proposed site.
Sites close to busy intersections, railroad crossings or areas with heavy air traffic can amplify noise issues and the complexities of transporting kids to and from school. Negating the impact of heavy traffic and outside noise sources is extremely advantageous.

Utilize the site to take advantage of inherent benefits, such as natural lighting, air movement or wind blocks, views and utility connections. A gently sloping site usually is best; one that is too flat or too hilly will struggle with drainage, and the expense for cut or fill will become a challenge.

If you are building an addition, ensure that ample room remains for future additions, on-site water detention, parking and athletic fields.