Magazine article The Futurist

France Builds a "Green" School

Magazine article The Futurist

France Builds a "Green" School

Article excerpt

Environmental considerations govern construction of a new school.

A recently constructed high school in Calais, France, is designed to conserve energy, recycle rain water, and have a low environmental impact, according to French environmental officials.

The Calais lycee is one of the first French buildings to be constructed based on principles of "high environmental quality," a set of standards that governs a building's design, materials, and waste-management practices during construction, as well the operation and environmental impact of the completed structure.

These buildings make optimum use of climate, sunlight, wind, and other natural resources to reduce energy consumption. The Calais school faces southwest, turning its back on the prevailing winds from the North Sea, while the roof of the school is aligned to let in light and heat.

Rain water collected on the roof is recycled for use in the school's toilets. A wind turbine harnesses some power for the building, and a gas-fired cogeneration unit meets additional energy needs. Solar panels provide energy for the school's low voltage network, including the alarm system, and for heating water. …

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