Dubai, UAE: The Arbor School management and founding principal, Charles Grayhurst, hosted the school’s first hardhat tour as part of an official construction update. Set to open in the Al Furjan district of Dubai in September 2018, the Arbor School revealed a structure that will exceed regional green building standards by 20% overall.
As the region’s first school to embed eco-literacy, sustainability and environmental justice into its curriculum, Grayhurst says the Arbor School students will be environmentally mindful and that this mindset starts with the facilities in which they will be educated, “We are making every effort to ensure that our ethos is reflected in the physical structures and operations of our buildings,” he explains, “We work to strict, international standards and protocols that ensure that our construction process and buildings are ecologically and environmentally sound.”
He highlighted a multitude of strategies that have been applied in the construction process to ensure that all school facilities are in line with the school’s environmental commitment: “Our building is being built to the exacting standards of LEED Gold Certification, and daily operations are managed using ethical practices through resource utilisation and respective ecological footprint.’
Be it through the recycling of construction debris, the use of sustainability sourced wood wherever possible, or locally sourced materials, the Arbor School is implementing its environmentally mindful approach with every element. In fact, all construction materials, such as blocks, bricks, insulation materials, etc. are subjected to strict scrutiny in accordance with local and international environmental standards.
Reflective paints have also been used on the building itself to maximise reflection of the sun rays, “Our building design and materials are selected to ensure maximum thermal performance, which stops the absorption and emission of thermal energy,” adds Grayhurst, “This process thereby decreases the amount of energy required to cool the building; our energy efficiency model, which includes power, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning is designed for maximum efficiency, and will exceed the Dubai Municipality and TRAKHEES Green requirements.”
All the sanitary ware and water systems have also been designed for maximum efficiency of water consumption, but most notable of all is that the finished building will have advanced ventilation and air-filtration systems to provide the highest possible standard of indoor air quality, minimising the presence of volatile organic compounds, dust, pollen and other environmental allergens. This will be supported through the use of UV filtration on ventilation ducts to eliminate the spread of pathogens (such as bacteria and viruses) around the school buildings.
The Arbor School will provide a very high standard of physical facilities consistent with the school’s educational aspirations on a campus area of 30,000 m2. The buildings will include climate-controlled atria, learning gardens — and three climate controlled biodomes, in which students can regularly interact with soils, flora and fauna as a fundamental part of their educational experience.
The school facilities shall also include specialized science laboratories, art rooms, auditorium and associated black box, libraries, canteen areas, film photography rooms and vocational workshops. In addition to these, the sports facilities shall include a FIFA compliant soccer pitch, multi-purpose hall for indoor sports, a variety of outdoor courts and a specially designed swimming pool.
The Arbor School curriculum will be based on the National Curriculum for England, enriched with an educational vision that is compassionate and ethical, and reflected in all lessons and tasks. Through project-based, experiential and outdoor learning, children will plan, collaborate, reflect and make meaningful changes to the world around them in an inclusive and supportive environment. Arbor students will benefit from both a scientist and artist in residence, who will inspire the whole school community to think and act differently, facilitating their engagement with environmental projects both locally and globally. In support of this vision, the school boasts top-class facilities, using three climate controlled biodomes and learning gardens as key educational spaces to engage children in a deeper understanding of their ecology and environment.Mar 2018