Rethinking Design: How can we prepare schools for another pandemic?

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Jordan Marshall reports on how architects are trying to future-proof school buildings while making new-builds net zero

“It’s imperative we get this right,” says Richard Hyams, founder and director of architecture practice Astudio. “The ramifications of the decisions we make now have the potential to impact the next generation.”

Arguably such views on the future of school design and construction could be made at any point in time; after all, good-quality school buildings should always be central in supporting children’s and young people’s learning. But the pandemic, which barred many children from physically attending school and exacerbated inequalities in education, has increased the pressure on those working on capital projects to create spaces that can adapt to future crises. Teachers, parents and politicians all agree that never again should students face the disruptions of the past 12 months. And now it falls to construction professionals to think of design solutions that can make school buildings more resilient in the future.

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