School buildings can become an engine in sustainable site development, the City Life Center believes. Well, they are looking for, in collaboration with Bufdir and Sparebankstiftelsen DNB pilot projects in Eastern Norway where it is arranged for more people to use the buildings – beyond normal school hours. The hunt is part of the initiative «School facilities for sustainable cities and local communities».
– We want to find and promote three pilot projects that will receive one million kroner each, so that they can invest more time in consulting and gain an understanding of how school facilities can become more multifunctional and accessible, says Benjamin Barth, professional advisor in the Norwegian Association of Architects (NEEDLE). Part of this applies to, among other things, universal design.
Engines in the local environment
Today, a school building is traditionally used intensively during the day, with many different functions: gymnasium, kitchen, workshops, study room, rehearsal room and other specialties. But after school, it often gets quiet in the corridors. May it be so, ask Barth and the City Life Center.
– It is conceivable that these builders can be used to a greater extent throughout the day, afternoon, evening and weekend, by students, young people, the elderly or adults, and blissful social engines in the local community and a stronger center of gravity for the local population, says Barth.
– What do you know about such use of school buildings today?
– I am not an expert, but after working with this for a few months, I think it is a long way between the good examples of this type of collaboration. Therefore, we now go out openly and hunt for projects where the school building is designed less monofunctional.