45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 2015 - Page 58

Hazards The impact on schools Flood: Flood and heavy rains can damage school supplies, books and furniture. Fast-moving water erodes soil and undermines building foundations. Floodwaters seep into walls, weakening them and potentially leading to collapse. Landslides: Landslides can crush and bury schools and people. Pressure from rocks, snow or soil can damage walls and foundations and break underground utilities near or in the school. SCHOOL SECTION III: PLANNING SCHOOL Earthquakes: Earthquake shaking can collapse weak school buildings or cause enough heavy damage so that the building is not safe to be occupied. In small earthquakes, shaking can cause non-structural damage – large furniture can topple, cleaning and chemistry supplies can spill, electronic equipment can slide off desks and window glass can shatter. These damages can injure students. High winds: High winds can cause the complete collapse of weak schools. Even without collapse, winds can rip roofing off, blow out glass windows and carry debris through the air at speeds that can pierce school walls. When accompanied by rain, the wind and rain can seep in through poorly constructed buildings – ruining books, equipment and other building contents. Tsunami and flash floods: Rushing water can destroy building exteriors, pile up toxic debris in and around schools sites, and cause water damage to the interior of schools. High inundation can sweep facilities off their foundations and destroy them. Students and staff caught in the waters can drown or be crushed by debris. Extreme temperatures: Extreme temperatures within school buildings can make learning impossible. These conditions can also be physically unsafe for students traveling to and from school. School designs that incorporate ventilation, insulation, building material and orientation relative to the sun can increase student comfort inside classrooms and enhance their ability to learn. 49