1. Educational needs must drive architectural solutions
If a building project brief is based upon the learning objectives of the school, all else follows. Specialist educational input is therefore needed at the earliest possible stage of the start-up process in order to minimise the risk of costly and avoidable building variations.
2. All players must understand the start-up process
To be successful and to keep the project moving forward, investors, sponsors, consultants and operators must understand that a school expansion project needs to be explicitly guided through three distinct phases of a single process:
C) Design & Implementation.
Feasibility studies must reveal rather than hide unwelcome truths and all key players must clearly understand what effect the feasibility study has had on the project’s original conception. It is especially important that staffing and curriculum implementation are properly costed to avoid later surprises after implementation is under way.
3. Don’t neglect the details – door handles; windows; chairs; colour; lighting, etc., etc.
As the project gets underway there are countless smaller decisions to be made by the educators and project manager about finish, fixtures and fittings. These decisions will all have long term and possibly very expensive consequences if made poorly. Are the window fittings on the upper floors safe? Will the student chairs damage the chosen floor finish? Are the door specifications sufficiently robust to carry a potentially over-specified handle? Are the specified lighting schemes appropriate for different parts of the school? Experience counts for a great deal in making these decisions.