Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New Virginia Elementary School Has Radical Design For Learning, Energy Efficiency.

The Washington Post (9/6, Balingit) reports a new elementary school in Arlington, Virginia incorporates many new ideas about school design. Discovery Elementary School, named for the space shuttle that carried astronaut and former area resident John Glenn back into space in 1998, is built for flexible learning. Classrooms and halls are filled with different kinds of seating so students working alone or in groups can pick the arrangement that is most comfortable for them. The building itself is also filled with learning opportunities with different wings designed to teach students about animals, the ocean, the solar system, and other subjects. Bob Moje, the designer of the school, says the new design rejects “factory-type education” that informed much of the design of past school buildings. The school is also a net-zero energy building with solar panels and a geothermal water heating system.

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