Ten things that mean your eco-builder is an expert

Constructing an eco-classroom

At The Learning Escape we pride ourselves on the longevity of our eco-buildings. With a minimum 60-year lifespan, you can be confident that despite heavy winter storms or glorious summer sun your building will be a safe and comfortable learning environment.  But deciding who to work with can be a tricky business… particularly if you’ve never embarked on a building project before.  To save you from unnecessary trouble and a disappointing outcome we’ve compiled our Top Ten Tips to pick the builders from the (cow)boys!

  1. They are willing and able to design and build exactly what you and your children need. When creating a building for use as a learning environment, the design should be focussed on safety, security and practicality, from non-slip decking to auto-mist sprays that switch on in the event of fire.
  2. Schools do not have unlimited budgets so as with any big purchase, before selecting your team take time to consider different options to assess the best for you. During your free no-obligation survey one of our expert consultants will consider your location, budget and ideas to generate ideas for your ideal learning environment.
  3. From the foundation to the roof, each element of your eco-building should be designed to minimise its environmental impact. So while the natural timber suggested may look beautiful, be sure to check where it is sourced from. Our Douglas Fir Timber comes from sustainable forests and over time will weather to a beautiful silver-grey colour.
  4. As an investment in your school’s future your eco-development should be built to last, without the need for extensive maintenance or aftercare. Although the natural oils in our cedar cladding will resist decay and insect attack, we always follow up on our projects to ensure customers are satisfied with their finished design.
  5. Your chosen design team should combine traditional materials with the latest developments in technology to maintain its eco credentials and create a modern, clutter-free environment for you. Feel free to discuss any features you have seen or heard about with your designer to guarantee your classroom is suited to your needs.
  6. ‘Eco-design’ should not be limited to the exterior. Investigate a ‘turn-key’ design, like St Fagan’s CW Primary School’s classroom where energy efficient features like sunpipes and instant water heaters can help reduce your bills and environmental impact.
  7. Having on-site builders during term time can cause unnecessary disruptions to staff and pupils, so request a construction schedule to suit you. At The Learning Escape we aim to minimise the impact of our build by encouraging students to contribute ideas, explaining the design process and handling all the paperwork and planning processes.  
  8. Too often, schools can commission a design from one team, consult with another and deal with yet another during the build itself. For a faster, more efficient build we have a team of in-house experts, with architects, designers and engineers to remove the need to out-source, meaning you can be confident in who you are working with.
  9. While a building might look eco-friendly, the best way to confirm its credentials is to test its energy efficiency levels. Features like living sedum roofs and solar water systems all contribute to the ‘A’ rating of all our buildings.
  10. Of course the best way to confirm whether your design team can produce a sustainable, attractive and practical building to suit your needs is to visit an existing build. Although all our eco-classrooms are bespoke to each school, chatting to previous customers about their experience can help tailor your design and schedule to best suit your needs.