As Architects, and students of Architecture, we are constantly exposed to the ideas of Sustainability and the Greening of the build environment. The ultimate goal is to reach a point where these terms are no longer used to sell a project to a client or make it appear more impressive. Hopefully the ideas will be integrated within each and every project that is designed in the future. But in order for this to be possible, we must not be the only ones that are reaching towards this goal. The public needs to be willing to accept these new ideas and processes. I began to think about how this could be accomplished, reaching a larger and broader group of people.
I came to the conclusion that professionals would not be the best place to go to initiate a change in the lifestyle of our society. Instead the aim should be toward educating and exposing our youth to these ideas. The reason behind that is not only will you be reaching a younger population who will hopefully adapt what they learn, but also expand on it, and continue the advancement of it throughout their lives. But the involvement would not stop with just students. Parents and family members would also be influenced by the education of these students. Often involved or intrigued by what their children are learning in school, parents would be introduced to the ideas of sustainability by their children and these ideas would be brought into their homes. I chose a high school because at that stage in their lives, students are typically mature enough and responsible enough to be able to understand sustainability and the benefits that can come from it.
The school is intended to be a typical magnet high school with a focus in science, technology and the environment. Students are able to learn directly from the building they are using. Labs with a focus on the environment are connected to roof gardens or green atria within the building allowing the students to conduct research first-hand. Technology classes will actually work with systems integrated within the building, learning how they work and how to make them better. Overall the building aims to provide not only a place of learning for students but a place they can also learn from the building they occupy every day.
Status: School Project
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, US