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Effective investment in education: also possible with a small budget

Lucas van der Wee | cepezed

School boards face major challenges. Not only are the buildings in need of maintenance, but making them more sustainable and adapting them to new learning forms is a necessity. Ventilation requirements during the corona crisis exacerbated this problem. When designing new school buildings, the ambition is to make buildings as healthy as possible, often with a limited budget. cepezed proves to be able to cleverly deal with this.

working smart with small budget
In the manifesto ‘Cabinet: invest in education housing!’ a collective of sector organisations and municipalities advocates investing at least 730 million in renovating school buildings, sooner rather than later. Poorly ventilated buildings have negative consequences for learning performance, agrees research on ventilation in classrooms by the University of Maastricht. However, there are still limited financial resources at educational institutions to improve this. Although steps toward a better situation have been taken, budgets in primary and secondary education remain small. cepezed has shown that it can cleverly deal with a small budget by focusing on daylight, reuse of materials and multifunctional use of spaces. This leads to flexible, pleasant learning environments and a future-proof design for a school.

cambreur college as an example
A good example is the Cambreur College in Dongen. The existing school building of OMO schools was outdated to such an extent, that a new building had to take its place. The ambitions for the new building were high: to meet the requirements for a 'Fresh School' and a nearly energy-neutral building (BENG). The design also had to accommodate both the traditional classroom teaching method and new learning methods.

ready for the future
With its flexible layout the new Cambreur College high school will always be ready for the future. If there are more or fewer students per department, the layout can easily be adjusted. The new school is light and spacious, while still retaining the small-scale character of the previous building. Reuse was used where possible, varying from the two large gymnasiums to the paving stones of the former schoolyard. The existing large trees have also been preserved.

other examples
Another example is the International School Almere (ISA). The new building for primary and secondary school, will be completed in early 2023. In Ede, cepezed designed the transformation of the Dulon College, where existing and new build come together. And in Waddinxveen, the Coenecoop College is being built, which, like the Cambreur College, scores very high on 'Fresh School' and 'BENG'.

For more information and photos, view the project here