15 Jul 2020
Canberra is well known for its climate of extremes, with high temperatures in the summer months and cold, frosty weeks in the winter. It’s important that we provide public schools with facilities that meet these challenges, while also ensuring we meet our environmental energy efficiency considerations.
The ACT Government has invested in a number of upgrades to the infrastructure of established schools to ensure the thermal comfort needs of students and staff are met. When temperatures are too high or low, in the workplace and in schools, we all find it more difficult to concentrate and focus on work and learning.
As part of the ACT Government’s $115 million program to upgrade public schools, upgrades to heating and cooling systems has taken place in several ACT public schools this year, to improve thermal conditions for students and staff.
At Gungahlin College, the newly installed evaporative cooling system in the gymnasium will make physical education classes and exams much more comfortable.
“The new system in our gym has been a welcome addition. Our students can now complete exams and physical activity all year round in an environment set at a cool and comfortable temperature,” said Aaron Hill, director of physical education at Gungahlin College.
Reverse cycle ducted air conditioning has also been installed at Narrabundah Early Childhood School and Southern Cross Early Childhood School for optimal learning conditions in the school and classrooms for children.
At Amaroo School and Lanyon High School reverse cycle split systems have been installed to keep students comfortable all year round in woodwork and metalwork workshops, home economic kitchens and arts classrooms.
Caroline Chisholm School has also benefited from the heating and cooling upgrades. Learning areas that were previously kept cool by using pedestal fans or by opening doors now have more facilities for staff and students to control their learning environment.
“The recent heat mitigation works carried out to Caroline Chisholm School Senior Campus have provided substantial benefits to the learning environment of all students and staff, providing greater comfort and consistency to their school day. The installation of the insulation batts with the pairing of controllable reversible ceiling fans have given the key learning areas options to adjust their learning conditions as required,” said Mark de Rooy, Business Services Officer at Caroline Chisholm School.
Recent draught proofing at the school has also enabled the school to reduce their reliance on their gas furnace system, as they can retain more heat in classrooms by using less gas.
“Pairing this with our solar generation system and the impending expansion of this system will excitedly help us move swiftly towards a carbon neutral footprint, something the campus is very keen to achieve moving forward”, said Mark.