North Saanich Middle School was custom built for middle level learners aged 11 to 14 – and to serve as a model for environmental sustainability and community partnership.Wood was a natural choice for the two-storey school because it offers a lower energy and carbon footprint as well as being durable, adaptable and versatile. Wood is a great choice for schools because it creates relaxed, productive and high quality learning spaces with a tangible connection to nature and reduced stress.
Its green features include abundant natural lighting, high thermal mall tilt-up walls, radiant floor, and natural ventilation through classroom windows and thermal chimneys. It has geothermal heating and cooling, with solar collectors and a wind turbine for additional energy. The school also has an automatic light adjustment system to conserve energy, and a greenhouse to teach children about growing food.
Local Jobs, Local Benefits
Many of the 75 contractors and subcontractors involved in the project were local; construction of the school created work for close to 200 people.
Relaxed Learning Environment
Wood trim and panelling throughout the school provides a tangible connection to nature, something that cannot be matched by other building materials. Wood creates a high-quality learning environment for students and teachers, and research has concluded that wood interiors reduce stress.
Best Choice For Community Space
Wood is hypo-allergenic and, unlike carpeting, prevents the build-up of dust and is easier to clean, making it a great choice for North Saanich Middle School, which has an enlarged gym and auditorium for community meetings or events after school hours.