School design and construction
© UNICEF/HQ07-0687/Josh Estey|
Workmen rebuild SDN 30 Labui Primary School in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.
Current externalities affecting the environment – such as deforestation, climate change, migration, poverty and food insecurity – will have a great impact on communities across the globe. People everywhere, especially children, will face monumental, interconnected challenges that will alter their ways of life at the most basic level. The devastating floods in Pakistan in 2010 and their impact on the environment in many ways presage the larger-scale emergencies to come.
See resources on school design and construction
The world population has more than doubled during the past 100 years and will reach 9 billion by 2050. Estimates predict that for the first time in human history there will be more urban than rural dwellers; Asia has already reached that tipping point. Large migrations are increasing the pressure on existing natural resources and ageing infrastructure, including schools and hospitals, especially in developing nations. By 2030, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to deal with carbon dioxide waste and to keep up with expected levels of natural resource consumption.
What we do today – and how we design our next plan of action to educate our children – will determine our impact on future generations.
Education has proved to be the most effective vehicle in developing programmes to decrease mortality rates, increase health awareness and empower people to take charge of their destinies. Education has also moved to the forefront in emergency situations, as a means of restoring a sense of stability to children’s lives and society at large. Child-friendly schools are leading the way in innovative implementation of educational curricula in the field of architecture by making strides in developing structurally sound school designs that are conducive to learning, as part of the ‘build back better’ initiative. Assessing existing educational facilities and building new learning spaces for the 69 million children who are not enrolled in school is a daunting task.
To address these evolving challenges, schools must continue to push beyond the academic realm and strive for a wider, socially positive impact. The school of the future will provide an education that is relevant to the child’s cultural experience, the environmental context and the state of world events. Schools will serve as epicentres for community improvement by providing adequate and healthy learning spaces as well as multi-purpose community spaces, thus maximizing their value.
This is the time to imagine, design and build the school of a post-carbon society, with sustainable construction systems and educational tools that will enable people to minimize or even end dependency on external aid. New technologies for construction, cost-effective school models, lessons learned and best practices from the field will find a central and easily accessible space. UNICEF is working to share information related to school design and construction and to strengthen the growing community of practice involved in the implementation of healthier learning environments.
The following resources and publications do not necessarily reflect the views of UNICEF. These resources are presented as useful tools in the effort to exchange knowledge relating to school design and construction.
Guidelines and tools
- UNICEF, Compendium of Transitional Learning Spaces (TLS): Resilient design and construction in emergencies 2013 [PDF]
- UNICEF, Compendium of Transitional Learning Spaces (TLS): Design and construction in emergency 2011 [PDF]
- UNICEF, Child Friendly Schools Programming: Global evaluation report – Full report [PDF]
- 1) Child Friendly School Rating Survey [Word]
2) School Climate Index evaluation tool [PDF] – These tools serve as evaluation activities that help assess the quality of a school and any potential gaps that may need work in order to improve conditions. All activities and evaluations can be done by students, teachers and/or parents.
- Bhutan: Primary School Buildings: standards, norms and design [PDF]
- Peru: Normas Técnicas para el Diseño de Locales Escolares de Educación Básica Regular (in Spanish) [PDF]
- Rwanda: 'Child Friendly Schools Infrastructure Standards and Guidelines' [PDF]
- Mali: F.A.E.F. Manuel de Construction (in French) [PDF]
- INEE Good Practice Guide: Shelter and school construction [PDF]
- Handicap International: Accessibility in Emergency - Technical Sheets, WASH infastructure, Pakistan [PDF]
- Christian Blind Mission: Promoting Universal Access to the Built Environment [PDF]
- Child-friendly school projects in Myanmar, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, Thailand and West Africa [PDF] – These examples can be printed as posters.
- UNCRD, ‘School Earthquake Safety Project: Retrofitting of masonry and frame – Panel school buildings in Tashkent, Uzbekistan’ [PDF]
- UNDP, ‘Simple Retrofitting Details for Improving Earthquake Resistance of Brick Masonry Buildings in NCT of Delhi and the NCR’ [PDF]
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Design drawing for school building construction [PDF]
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Example of a contractor’s work plan for a school building [PDF]
- UNICEF Rwanda, ‘Child Friendly Schools in Rwanda: Typical drawings of school building and toilet block’ [PDF]
- UNICEF, documents on Myanmar infrastructure [Zip]
- UNISDR, INEE, World Bank, ‘Guidance Notes on Safer School Construction’ [PDF]
- UNESCO, ‘Protection of Educational Buildings against Earthquakes’ [PDF]
- Scottish Executive Development Department, ‘Planning Advice Note 69: Planning and building standards advice on flooding’ [PDF]
- UNCRD, ‘Preliminary Survey and Assessment of Schools Buildings: Reducing vulnerability of school children to earthquakes in Asia-Pacific region – Shimla, India’ [PDF]
- Habitech Center, ‘Interlocking Soil-Cement Brick Technology’ [PDF]
- National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET) – Nepal, Earthquake Resistant Construction of Buildings: Curriculum for mason training – Guidelines for training instructors [PDF]
- UNDP and International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth, ‘Raindrops for Education: How to improve water access in schools?’ [PDF]
- UNESCO and NSET-Nepal: Protection of Educational Buildings against Earthquakes: A manual for designers and builders, Nepal [PDF]
- FEMA, Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards: A handbook [PDF]
- FAO, Setting Up and Running a School Garden: A manual for teachers, parents and communities [PDF]
- UN-HABITAT: A Guide for Village Carpenters on How to Build Safer Shelter (Houses) [PDF]
- UN-HABITAT: How to Build a Safer Shelter: A Guide to Households on How to Build a Shelter that is Safer against Natural Forces [PDF]