45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 71

SECTION III: DESIGN The Design Stage is when the shape and function of a school building emerges. Design teams – often composed of an architect, engineer or both – consider the layout, strength and size of construction materials needed to create a functional and safe school that can withstand daily use and the force of hazards. A community-based approach to safer school projects is a collaborative process, even in the technical design phase. The design team may begin with a template design, or a series of design options, dictated by the MoE or the development organisation initiating the project. Alternatively, the team may create a completely new design. In either case, the school management committee and other community stakeholders should be encouraged to make as many of the design decisions as possible, within the constraints of safety, budget and country guidelines for schools. As such, the design team should have an iterative consultation process with the community. In a community-based approach, the design team has one important additional task. They should effectively communicate the design, especially the hazard-resistant elements, to the community and accommodate their concerns in the final design. This task demands that the design team be trained and effective in public communication. Government agencies provide: • Design templates • Functionality standards • Design approval Community design key activities: • Pre-design consultation • Schematic design • Design finalisation • Selection of construction management strategy Local community provides: • Design preferences The design team bases the design of the school building primarily on the following requirements: • Structural safety of school buildings. The building’s ability to withstand natural and other hazard events, minimising danger to occupants, takes precedence over all other considerations. Where robust building codes exist for available materials, the design team can ensure structural safety by designing according to these standards. Where building codes do not address local materials or where codes are known to be insufficient for on-site hazards, the team must look to international guidelines and good practice. Even with international guidelines, testing the strength of loca l materials may be necessary. • Functionality. Schools need to be structurally safe and friendly, and need to provide supportive learning environments. They should be designed to invite children in and support them in their emotional and intellectual growth. Choices of architectural shape, layout and material can provide a welcoming atmosphere, School management committee Commitment to safer schools SECTION III: DESIGN The Community Design Stage Implementing organisation (e.g. NGO, CBO, local authority) provides: • Program manager to facilitate process • Design team to create design alternatives • Project scope • Funds During the Community Design Stage, school management committees work with design teams during an initial consultation and the selection of an appropriate design alternative. Together with the program manager, the committee also selects a construction management strategy. 62