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5 Factors Of Education Building Design Of The Future

contributed by Anne Davis

Buildings–as a kind of technology–are at the heart of modern human civilization.

Educators overseeing courses in architecture, engineering, and other fields related to building design are tasked with taking everything we’ve learned about construction up to this point and passing it onto the next generation of builders. What’s more, they have to enlighten their students regarding the ways in which building design will be changing in the years ahead.

In the past, TeachThought has looked at learning space design. Here is a breakdown of five of the most factors in education spaces of the future.

Function

First and foremost, education spaces of the future will have to be functional.

This isn’t a huge epiphany, as it’s been true for buildings for thousands of years. Yet the challenges of what makes a building ‘functional’ in the future will be slightly removed from the factors of building and learning spaces design today. Many of those factors are listed below, but the idea that a space has to ‘work’ for its users is universal. Function and form have to work together.

For example, a high-quality 3D printer can help educators show their students what was previously difficult to convey without expensive renderings or intricate models. Educational videos with high production values showcase the wonders of building design in ways which were impossible to demonstrate without on-site field trips and densely written plans.

While all of the above are still valuable in terms of teaching building design to the next generation, new technologies will continue to be harnessed by educators to add an extra layer of information to every lesson plan without overwhelming their students.

Efficiency

Very little concern was paid toward energy efficiency during the architectural explosion of the 20th-century. Bigger, brighter, shinier, sleeker, and statement-making were the aims of architects and engineers of that era. Whether or it took massive amounts of energy to make the project work in practice was something of an afterthought. Teachers guiding the students of tomorrow can’t pass this mindset onto their students.

Building designs of tomorrow are going to have to be optimized for maximum energy efficiency. Insulation, exposure, ventilation, alternative energy, and space are just some of the ways in which future builders will have to design their structures to be energy efficient. Today’s classrooms are an incubator for the energy-conscious construction projects of tomorrow, and educators have to be prepared to take up the task.

Sustainability

Alongside efficiency is the concept and factor of ‘sustainability.’

Just like any other aspects of future learning, from technology and curriculum to assessment and funding, for something to ‘work’ it has to do so in a way that allows it to continue. One of the biggest challenges facing builders in the modern era is the need for the structures they erect to be sustainable over the long-term.

Educators in fields related to construction are tasked with teaching their students the ways in which architecture and structural engineering can exist without exhausting resources to do so. The principle behind this isn’t so much about stretching the limits of building design concepts and the materials used to turn them into reality as much as it’s about identifying which concepts are appropriate for a given project and whether the use of certain materials is justified.

Integration

And a huge part of this is technology.

With most of the human population centered in established cities and surrounding suburbs, the era of unrestricted building design is drawing to a close. Education spaces of tomorrow must place a tremendous emphasis on the importance of integrating building design and construction into the surrounding environment, including WiFi access, smart ‘boards’ and walls, lines of sight, spaces of planned and spontaneous collaboration, and more.

While builders in some parts of the world have already mastered this principle because of reaching the limits of available space decades or even centuries ago, others, like many in the United States, are not used to being confined by existing structures and restrictions on how the local environment can be altered. It’s a lesson in which the students of today must learn in order to design the education buildings of tomorrow.

Security

Teachers are unfortunately all too familiar with the security threats facing groups of people gathered together in one central location. Those educating the architects and engineers of the future must consider this hard truth when leading lectures and lessons on building design. For instance, a wifi indoor camera network will need to reliably connect to a central monitoring station, which means making sure the layout doesn’t interfere with such a surveillance system.

Doors and windows are also factors in which security plays a role. The same can be said for how people inside the building can safely and swiftly evacuate in case of emergency. While teachers of architecture and structural engineering have focused on several of these building concepts for centuries going back to the ancient Romans, modern threats require modern reassessments of how buildings can be made safer and more secure for those inside.

Chances are you’re inside a building right now. For the men and women designing the buildings of the future to be educated and enlightened, factors like those shown above much be considered. In order for this to happen, the educators of today must guide their students towards the building principles of tomorrow.