Green School in Kfar Saba, Israel
The first environmental School in Israel is being constructed in Kfar Saba. The school will serve children from the first to the sixth grade. The 3,400 sqm school buildings with its 18 classrooms embrace a large central courtyard offering informal learning spaces, green areas and play and educational elements in environmental education. The buildings express the freedom to choose the focus, the learning group, the option to advance individually according to individual abilities. The school is to be qualified the strict -“Leed Gold” standard and Leed for Schools v2009.
Education today, in the era of globalization, should retrieve to finding the balance between the constant and the changing, the predicted and the accidental, the repetitive and the different, the individual and the collective and between the accepted and the exceptional. School is not only a place designed for gaining knowledge but also a place for gaining tools for learning and for personal abilities improvement combined with education for moral values, in order to cope with the world different circles, getting to know it, and trying to define the interaction between a person and its human and physical environment.
The Environment Approach
The issue of constant decrease in natural resources and irreversible polluting of the environment became a central issue in global discussion. The green school was planned in a holistic approach, in order to create the right living environment for the students while minimizing the environmental impact of the buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation in the use of land, water, energy, and materials.
Embracing nature play a central role in the design process. Nature presence within the school building is enhanced by the openness of the building and the integration of vegetation in the inner courtyards and the green roofs. This close relationship to nature raises awareness of natural resources and plays an important role in educating the new generation towards a more sustainable society.
Education is the key for moral society. Therefore the existence of a green school that physically represents the principles of green construction, and educates for moral values, by an environmental and social sustainability directed curriculum, is an important aspect in the essential need of adopting the sustainability principles in order to create a healthy society that donates to the quality of environment and to the values of social justice for our future on earth.
Employing a holistic environmental approach in school design provide opportunities for exploring, self discovery and expanding horizons. It allows next generation sprouting and growth while developing both social and cognitive skills along with humanistic and environmental values.
Kfar Saba Green School located in a sustainable neighborhood will offer the students and their families a space for gathering and social activities in the afternoon thus strengthening the social ties within the members of the students` families and community. Education for social, cultural, and environmental values which isintegrated in the schools` curriculum will raise the awareness to the environment and promote innovative ideas towards a better future and more harmonious life on earth. Kfar Saba Green School design approach is a case study for portraying a community that values respect for man and his environment.
Optimal Thermal Comfort
The school is designed for optimal thermal comfort in all seasons.
Building energy is provided by an advanced geothermal system, which provides a complete solution for heating and cooling system of the school without the use of electricity from outside sources.
A great deal of energy is reduced by improved thermal insulation while creating building comfort conditions throughout the seasons.
Fresh air system is installed into classrooms to maintain health and alertness of the students during classes. This means that students will benefit from the supply of fresh air throughout the day.
The building is designed to maximize day lighting in order to minimize the building’s need of artificial lighting. All the lecture rooms and study areas benefit from day light. Northern extra wide windows classrooms enable penetration of soft light to into the classrooms to illuminate the building interior. Lighting system will be operated by PL and T5 lighting fixture for ensuring saving and efficiency. Lighting shelves will be integrated on southern façade to increase natural light in working spaces. All windows are double glazed characterized by thermal and acoustic features which allow high penetration of light.
An acoustic ceiling is installed in the classrooms to enable acoustic performance to meet the strictest demands.
Construction & Materials
All materials are chosen with attention to their thermal qualities, durability and recyclability. Over 20% of construction materials is recycled and over 20% of the materials is local. All adhesive, colors and furniture are authorized as non-presence of toxins.
Building area has been reduced to a minimum in order to reduce the footprint of the building.
Transportation and Accessibility
The Green School is highly accessible to its environment, built in an urban area with high density and close proximity to other public buildings.
Large areas of the rooftops are covered with insulating layers of vegetation and substrate.
Use of water efficient plants, reduction of paved areas – Maximize Absorption of water and drilled absorption holes were all designed to minimize water and energy waste.
Rainwater from roofs will be harvested for irrigation of greenhouse and garden water preservation. Irrigation will be supplied by recycling grey water from the buildings. Drip Irrigation will reduce water consumption by delivering irrigation directly to the plants and by collecting water through evaporation. Using advanced technology for production of crops enables the recycling of drainage water and reusing it.
A unique recycling room which allows separation of recycling waste: metals, plastics, paper, glass and organic materials. Classrooms are provided with recycling containers to stimulate students to take an active daily part in the recycling process.