Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Red de Innovación y Aprendizaje (RIA), Roma, Mexico

Exemplary design categories: comfort, community use and involvement, green school, technology rich

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
RIA is a network of centres that offers low-income communities access to computers, the internet and education. Each centre acts as a community hub, bringing together schools, businesses and local government. Partnerships are made with local schools to create courses that supplement their curriculum. Businesses can use the centres to host conferences and to train their employees. During the three phases of the initiative, 70 centres have been opened in 28 municipalities in the State of Mexico, an administrative district in south-central Mexico that surrounds the capital city. The largest centre has 80 computers and the smallest 30 computers. The architecture evokes elements of the local environment. The façades are made of galvanized steel and are adorned with colourful posters promoting the centres’ services. The registration modules resemble informal market and food stands. Walls and registration desks are made from OSB wood (comprised of leftover woodchips from construction sites). All chairs and tables are made from recycled plastic and recycled antistatic material is used for the flooring. Most of these materials are easily reusable. The technology is energy efficient and bare low-energy light bulbs are used throughout. Each centre is in itself a lesson to users on how to work with low-impact materials. Carefully selected colours highlight doors and floors to guide users through the centres, enhancing the navigability of the space.

Activity Areas: A typical centre has a reception area, four classrooms and an auditorium.

Project costs: USD 2,020,000.00

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

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User perspectives (1)

"A centre like this facilitates learning; the teaching is practical and interactive. I like that the reception has small couches, bean bags and picnic tables where parents can wait for their children."
Thalía García, facilitator, RIA Naucalpan 2

Images (10)

Drawings (4)

cross sections (Registration required)
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floor plan (Registration required)
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reception area plan (Registration required)
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site plan (Registration required)
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