Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Escola Secundária Gabriel Pereira, Évora, Portugal

Escola Secundária Gabriel Pereira, opened in 1971, occupies a split-level site, with the main teaching facilities on the lower terrace and the sports area on the upper terrace. The original school buildings comprised three independent blocks of classrooms. The most important intervention was to extend the school by constructing a new central block. This provides additional facilities and reorganises the campus by linking the original buildings, forming a more coherent site with much more clearly delineated playgrounds. The transformation of the original buildings focused on structural reinforcement, a consequent realignment of the geometry of the roof and the deployment of a new passive heating and cooling system that leverages the existing courtyard configuration. This passive geothermal system improves energy efficiency and maintains comfortable conditions in the classrooms throughout the year. Rooms have been renovated to provide new workshops, science laboratories and arts classrooms. The group spaces are multifunctional and they are used by many different subject groups during a typical school day. All classroom spaces are equipped with new furniture, and the infrastructure is designed to be easily maintained. Every room is soundproof. The materials used in the interiors are washable, so the school always looks clean. There is wireless access throughout the school. The reorganisation of the campus means that the school can be opened up to the local community for evening classes and other activities outside of school hours.
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About this database

The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) launched the “Database of Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investment” on 29 September 2011. It seeks to inform the planning, design, construction, management and evaluation of educational spaces, combining resources for strategic investment in educational infrastructure, with exemplary school and university facilities from all over the world.

Drawing on the output of a joint CELE/European Investment Bank project on “Strategic Investment Planning for Educational Infrastructure” and more than 60 exemplary schools and universities featured in CELE’s flagship publication, “Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”, this database is a unique international resource for educators, designers, policymakers and researchers alike.

Users of the database are encouraged to add their own resource material, or submit new completed university or school projects for publication on the database. OECD and EIB welcome your input to our project!

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The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) presents the top 6 school and university buildings in ”Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011”.

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