Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Epping Views Primary School, Epping, Victoria, Australia

Exemplary design categories: flexible learning settings, green school, safety

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
The student-centred focus of the school has been planned as two learning neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood is an open, transparent environment that provides students with a variety of spaces and facilities specific to their educational programs. The “buzz and activity” of the open learning streets, the ubiquitous availability of technological resources, and the location of staff facilities throughout each neighbourhood are all designed to foster good teacher/student relationships and support a team-teaching approach. With its extensive use of glass, the openness of the school is designed to break down barriers between learners of different age groups. The studio spaces, while still open to the “learning street” in each complex, also provide a “home” room for smaller groups of students. The school also shares a recreation reserve with the community. Good levels of natural daylight mitigate the need for artificial lighting, and buildings are served by an integrated ventilation strategy which includes heat chimneys and louvered night-purging systems. The use of solar glazing further minimises the impact of heat loads from these more exposed directions. Materials have been selected with a view to their sustainability and lifecycle costs, and rainwater is harvested to provide toilet flushing. Epping Views is committed to sustainable practices across all areas of its programming. Access to the nature reserve, for example, is intended to support environmental awareness, and landscaping incorporates water efficient native plants. Additional rainwater tanks have also been acquired to service grass and garden areas, and a chicken pen has been developed to supply fertiliser for the gardens. The new school (including external play areas) complies with stringent safety standards as set out in the Building Code of Australia and the Department’s Building Quality Standards Handbook. The school is security-alarmed and monitored by the Department’s Emergency & Security Management Unit. Student amenities have been designed to provide students with an environment in which they feel safe.

Activity Areas: all-weather walkways which incorporate shelters, courtyards, gardens and informal meeting spaces, major learning “street” with a variety of studios accommodate classes and more fluid groupings; a separate library/resources centre is accessible to both learning neighbourhoods, and the school features a dedicated music practice and performance venue, a canteen, a separate administration block, a recreation reserve with community access, and a nature reserve for student field work.

Project costs: AUD 5,900,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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User perspectives (1)

“As a school with a high sustainability ethos, our design delivers in the use of sustainable building products. It also maximises the advantages of the site and minimises the use of energy and water.”
Pauline Kubat, Principal

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Learning Neighbourhood Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Gray Puksand
Learning Centre Elevation Drawings (Registration required)
application/pdf
Credit: Gray Puksand
Site Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Gray Puksand
Learning Neighbourhood furniture plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Gray Puksand