Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Escola Secundária Gabriel Pereira, Évora, Portugal

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, energy efficiency, flexible learning settings, science laboratories, technology rich

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
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.

Activity Areas: The central block includes an auditorium, a library, five computer classrooms and art workshops. The new block houses a canteen, kitchen, snack bar and the student common rooms. The new gymnasium, which is located next to the sports hall and the outdoor sports courts on the upper terrace.

Project costs: EUR 12,400,000.00

Source: "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011"

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site plan (Registration required)
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