Building sustainable learning environments that are ‘fit for the future’ with reference to Egypt

Elseragy, Ahmed and Elnokaly, Amira and Gabr, Mohammed (2011) Building sustainable learning environments that are ‘fit for the future’ with reference to Egypt. In: World Sustainable Building Conference, 18-21 October 2011, Helsinki.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
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Abstract

Perhaps there is no building type that has a more significant impact on our lives than the
Kindergarten to high School (K-12). We continue to carry the memories of our early learning
environments through the residue of our lives. It is the quality of those learning environments that
play a crucial role in enhancing or hampering our learning experience.
Learning spaces are complex spaces where the collective skills, knowledge, and practices of a
culture are taught, shaped, encouraged, and transmitted. Comfortable/safe and creative learning
spaces can inspire and motivate users, while ugly/unsafe spaces can oppress. Based on these two
attitudes, the aims of this paper are to; firstly, developing Sustainable learning environments (SLE)
in the Middle-East countries with reference to Egypt. Secondly, to reviewing and extending the
planning and design of the internal, external and landscaping features of a proposed eco-class to
collectively pass to the learners for enhancing the quality of learning space and thus education.
After the Egyptian Revolution on the 25th of January, 2011 and the hopes and dreams this brings
with it, for a major transformation in all life sectors, the Egyptian government needs to recognise
the right of children and young people to learn in an environment which is safe, healthy and
achieves the highest quality possible. We must all be committed to improving the quality,
attractiveness and health of the learning and communal spaces in our schools. Environmental
factors have significant effects on pupil and teacher wellbeing. In contrast, poor school and
classroom design can affect concentration, creativity and general well-being; in addition, poor
quality lighting, ventilation, acoustics and furniture all have a negative effect on student
achievement and health.
Nowadays, Egypt endure deterioration of education quality as a result of deficient learning spaces,
high number of pupils in class, insufficient governmental expenditure and funding, and lack of
proper research in education developmental strategies. Therefore, new learning spaces should be
able to increase flexibility in order to support hands-on and outside-class learning activities.
Furthermore, they intend to encourage extra-curricula activities beyond conventional learning times.
Currently, these integral learning-components are crucial for socio-cultural sustainability and
positive initiatives towards minimizing recent educational underachievement. Undoubtedly,
comfortable, safe and creative learning spaces can inspire and motivate users, while ugly/unsafe
spaces can depress. Therefore, well-designed learning spaces are able to support creative,
productive and efficient learning processes on one hand. On the other hand, ecological design
measures became increasingly major keystone for modern sustainable learning-spaces. Thus,
learning-spaces’ design process, form, components, materials, features, and energy-saving
technologies can generate well-educated, environmental-literate, energy-conscious, and innovative
future-generations. (Continued)

Keywords:Sustainable learning environments, Fit for Purpose, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Eco-class, Learning Spaces, Egyptian Schools.
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K110 Architectural Design Theory
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K100 Architecture
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Architecture & Design > School of Architecture & Design (Architecture)
ID Code:8488
Deposited On:28 Mar 2013 20:53

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