Saturday, 10 November 2007

Sustainable designs

As we (the Hon. Minister and team) have presented the new school designs at numerous public meetings all round Cayman recently, Rick Dewar, (pictured above), Principal architect with owP/p, has really been stressing the sustainability of the designs of the new campuses. This was a key requirement from the start of the design brief, but the public concern to ensure this happens has been high. Using the LEED criteria these schools will feature very high on the ratings in all respects.

Most importantly, Rick stressed to the audience that "these buldings, as much as any school in the world, will allow endless change in future teaching styles". This was also a key requirement from the initial stakeholder workshops with teachers, educators, parents, the private sector, led by Prakash Nair (FNI) and architects.

The intelligent use of glass in the Global Learning Centres has been one of the interesting discussion points - also to be used as a hurricane shelter, the public here are used to minimal windows in such buildings. The technological innovations taking place in all such building components are at such a speed that, unless we communicate it carefully, people are not aware of them, and therefore do not necessarily trust this move away from "what they know". Again, an interesting communication challenge for us all.

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