45179_towardssaferschoolconstruction_0 (2015) - Page 74

Key activity 2: Schematic design Following pre-design community consultation, design teams should develop preliminary design alternatives based on budget, performance objectives and community preferences. The design team should develop feasible alternative designs that leave room for modifications. They should then communicate these alternatives to the school management committee and other stakeholders through culturally appropriate means. For some communities, artistic renderings may be appropriate. For others, simplified plan drawings may be closer to the way people discuss new construction. For some communities, oral descriptions and on-site visits allow stakeholders to visualise themselves in the new school better than drawings. Paper models of the building and their layout also help people understand the configurations. The program manager should not forget community capacity-building during this process. As the design team describes feasible design alternatives, they should highlight how each design incorporates hazard-resistant design practices. Communities should understand how each design choice ensures their children’s safety and access to education. Even when a community’s aspirations for a school design do not initially align with hazard-resistant design decisions, conversations about schematic designs provide an opport unity to continue raising community awareness about hazards and the importance of prioritising safety. Discussing how the design achieves ‘life safety’ or higher performance objectives helps communities understand that schools and other buildings can be built to protect them. Although the approach may require several iterations of schematic design, the educational component of the process helps build a culture of safety within and beyond the school community. Safer school design principles Community members can learn to identify some key hazard-resistant design choices, such as those shown here. Local builders will need more detailed guidance provided by well-qualified engineers (see Resources for safer design in the Community Design Stage). High winds and earthquakes: Buildings with irregular plans – long and narrow buildings, buildings with complex layouts – tend to be more damaged. Buildings with regular plans – square layouts or with gaps left between different wings of a building with complex layout – tend to be less damaged. SECTION III: DESIGN High winds: Designing buildings to have ‘hipped’ or flat roofs without overhangs and providing window coverings helps prevent high winds from blowing roofs off. Strong connectors between the roof and columns or walls are also necessary. Earthquakes: Small window and door openings, placed at least a 1.2m from building corners reduce the likelihood that cracks forming at doors and windows will reach and weaken building corners. Buttresses or cross-walls reduces support walls so they do not fall over. Earthquake ‘ring beams’ that wrap around masonry buildings also help hold the masonry building together. 65