A biophilic school made of biobased materials

To stimulate children’s concentration, health and learning capacity, Dutch architectural studio ORGA architect designed a primary school in Almere, the Netherlands, with biophilic principle and biobased materials.

The choice of materials has a big influence on the users of the building. The right material stimulates the senses and reduces stress, ORGA believes, which is especially the case with natural materials.

“It is remarkable that the current classroom might be the most inefficient environment to let the brains of young people develop and expand their social skills,” ORGA states. “It would make sense to take nature as starting point in every school design for the architecture and the interior design. It’s not that hard.”

The natural and biobased materials used are naturally temperature and moisture regulating and free of toxic substances. The main building material is wood, which is constructed without glue, making the wood skeleton dismountable.

The interior walls of the school are made of loam bricks. Wood also comes back in the furniture, which are made of local materials and wood.

Two roofs will have solar panels mounted on them, and one is a green roof. Rain water is captured and used for the flushing of toilets. A low tech natural ventilation system offers fresh air inside the building.

The building receives a material passport in which is noted exactly which materials are used where. This ensures that the materials can be reused in new projects once the school is deconstructed, or, in case of the biobased materials, returned to nature.

Architect Daan Bruggink, founder of ORGA, is part of part of the independent Advisory Board for the annual material event MaterialDistrict Rotterdam, which selects the most sustainable and innovative parties and may call themselves Innovation Partners. Interested in becoming an Innovation Partner? Click here.

Images: ORGA architect