When you think of Hong Kong you probably think of densely packed skyscrapers, a lot of glass, steel, and concrete. But what about urban green spaces? Now, the new French International School is set to provide, not only a green oasis in a city environment, but also an example of sustainability. 42 well-grown trees have been planted around the school grounds, and a 400-meter-long walk takes students on a tour of the native plant species that might occur within a natural South China forest environment.
But the green theme doesn’t begin and end with the landscaping, unusual as the island of greenery may be. The campus has been designed for sustainability.
A 550 Square Meter Botanical Garden For Hong Kong’s Greenest School
Architects Henning Larsen say that everything, from the choice of building materials to the orientation of the building and the way the windows are designed, targets sustainability. The company hopes that both students and local builders who were involved in the project will learn important lessons in sustainability from the building.
Clever Window and Ventilation Design Reduces Energy Consumption
The orientation of windows has a big influence on the indoor climate, and the architects chose North and South Orientations to prevent the sun’s rays from penetrating directly into the building during the early morning and late afternoon hours.
In addition, the windows are shaded with brise-soleils (features that deflect the sun’s rays) to prevent too much of the hot, tropical sunshine from shining in, raising indoor temperatures to uncomfortable levels that would call for increased use of air conditioning. The company says that its choice of brise-soleils also allows for better penetration of natural light and reports that its design has allowed for homogeneous light distribution throughout the building.
“We dissolved the traditional classrooms, and we pushed boundaries on how learning spaces can allow teachers and classes to work together in a more collaborative open space,” says Claude Godefroy, Design Director, and Partner at Henning Larsen Hong Kong.