Schools might be out on summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean we stop thinking about schools. In fact, with no students to worry about, school administrators often use the summer months to plan ahead and contemplate new construction projects. With this in mind, we took some time to survey the current school construction landscape to see what the latest trends are. Here’s what we came up with.

  1. Lighting- It might sound like a simple thing to do, but major strides have been made in the way we light school. One major shift in school lighting is known as daylighting. This method examines the physical positioning of the building to maximize natural light and energy efficiency. By incorporating south-facing windows, schools can use less electricity and reap the many health benefits of natural light. LED lights are also a growing trend because they don’t flicker like fluorescent lights (which can distract students) and for their energy efficiency.
  2. Air- Research has found that air quality has a huge influence on the number of sick days for students and teachers. By building with optimal air flow and quality in mind, a school can reduce the spread of sickness and improve students’ focus.
  3. Security- Sadly, school security is an issue that has to be a top priority. Limiting the number of entry points while accommodating student foot traffic is a tricky balancing act, but one that must be done in order to ensure school security. Using smart door locks that track who’s coming in and out can also greatly increase the overall security of the school.
  4. Flexibility- With school budgets getting cut, the need for flexibility is higher than ever. By creating common spaces that can double or even triple as other purposes, schools can maximize their spending. Instead of having just a cafeteria, for example, schools might want a cafetorium (a hybrid between a cafeteria and an auditorium). These multipurpose rooms are a great solution to the growing need for flexible learning spaces.
  5. Environmental- Hands on learning is often the best kind of learning. So today, many schools are starting to incorporate dedicated environmental learning spaces into their campuses. This might come in the form of rain collection ponds or vegetable gardens.

School construction trends, like all trends, will come and go, but you can rest assured that Cowen Construction will continue to be on the forefront of construction techniques and technologies.