Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

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Facility of the week

Thor Heyerdahl School, Larvik, Norway

The largest new school in Norway for students aged 16-19 years, the main objective of the project was to provide flexible and functional solutions to support a range of students’ skills, group sizes and teaching pedagogies. The configuration of spaces allows teachers to interact more effectively with students and to strengthen classroom management strategies.

The buildings’ interior and exterior are characterised by organic design. Glass is used to enhance a feeling of open landscapes, and a large atrium in the centre connects all departments, functions and educational programmes. Each programme’s teaching area consists of different types of classrooms, designed for flexible use: auditoriums, classrooms, different small rooms for group work and open learning spaces. Teachers work in interdisciplinary teams, and their workplace is located in the students’ areas. All teachers and students can use laptops and wireless access anywhere in the school.

The school has a municipal health service for young people, which is integrated in the school’s student service department, providing students with access to health, social services and study counselling.

Arena Larvik, the multifunctional sports arena, is used for sports events like handball or gymnastics, conferences, concerts and training for local sports. An external company owned by the municipality and county manages commercial activities in the sports arena. There are approximately 35 events in the sports arena every year.

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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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