School Business Affairs February 2021

asbointl.org SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2021 21 ANCILLARY SERVICES Building Climate-Resilient Schools Considerations for building schools to last a lifetime. By Richard Weeks T hrough good architecture, solid engineering practices, and quality construction, new schools are expected to have life spans of more than 50 years. In the not too distant past, school district build- ing committees were preoccupied with site selection, grade configuration, and the project’s cost to taxpay- ers. Recently, committee discussions have increasingly included topics such as adding photovoltaic panels and other energy-saving features to the buildings. In 2017, the American Institute of Architects adopted a forceful policy regarding the construction of new buildings including schools: “The AIA supports and empowers members to create sustainable, resilient and adaptable communities through the power of design” (American Institute of Architects 2017 ). Environmentalist Jared Bloom (2019) wrote, “Sus- tainability and resilience are two sides of the same coin. While sustainable design and construction seek to protect the environment from damage by building construction and operation, resilience seeks to protect the building and its operation from the environment.” As districts consider designing and building new schools, they work with state-licensed architects who are supported by the AIA to ensure they will be sustainable, resilient, and adaptable. Table 1 outlines design consid- erations for sustainable, resilient, and adaptable school buildings. Resilience to Climate Stress Early in the process, the district’s building committee will retain a design group to conduct a feasibility study, examine site and construction options, and prepare a schematic design of the new school for the district’s consideration. The design group will do a careful exami- nation to identify potential site hazards, assess vulner- abilities, and analyze impacts. Site surveys will include a study of the geological material properties on a proposed construction site to MANUSAPON/STOCK.ADOBE.COM

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