The Future of Sustainable School Design


With climate change becoming an international issue, sustainability has been a central concern for many educators around the world. They need to start thinking about school models that release the least carbon footprints as possible, with architectural structure sturdy enough to house hundreds of students, but also needs to be environmental-friendly. As part of our “School Series”, today we will talk about the epitome of sustainable architecture – The Green School in Bali, Indonesia.


Opened in 2008, Green School Bali recently celebrated its first decade of educating toddlers through teenagers about eco-ethical design and cooperative living. Much of the inspiration for this has come from Green School founders John and Cynthia Hardy and their daughter Elora. Their TED talks and YouTube videos have been widely watched.


So what makes the school design different from other private schools in Indonesia? Green School Bali is located on a sustainable campus bordering two sides of the Ayung River in Sibang Kaja, Bali. The school itself is hidden within a lush jungle with local plants growing alongside the school’s organic gardens. The school is built entirely by local bamboo, essential and abundant materials found in tropical latitudes. Due to the core idea of reducing carbon footprint, the campus uses alternative energy sources to power its heating and cooking system, from a hydro-powered vortex generator to solar panels.


Despite its lack of cement hallways and lined-up student lockers, Green School still has all the facilities that a traditional school would have. The campus includes classrooms, a gym, assembly spaces, faculty housing, offices, cafes and bathrooms. In addition to basic infrastructure, it also features from a large multi-story communal gathering place to the much smaller classroom.

The result of this architectural dream is a holistic green community that seeks to inspire students to be more curious and passionate about the environment.

This model of building schools from sustainable materials has garnered international attention in the last decade, prompting the opening of three more Green School in West Africa, Mexico and New Zealand. This progressive concept of learning and building is expected to become more popular in the near future.


*All pictures are taken from Green School Bali Facebook page.


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