Dismountable materials for sustainable design in the German language school

Menden said the project was an opportunity to rethink the idea of ​​established demountables and develop a sustainable solution at a similar cost and in a short timeframe. Their new prototype, Seed., an acronym for “Sustainable Environmental Education Space,” was an antidote to traditional knock-down devices.

The temperature in the classrooms is wonderful, said the acting head of the elementary school, Rachel Hennig.

Children watch workers as they move a new knock-down class block into position at Charlestown East Primary School.

Children watch workers as they move a new knock-down class block into position at Charlestown East Primary School. Credit: Newcastle Herald Library

“It’s only in the extreme heat of summer that we may need to use the air conditioning,” Hennig said. It took a long time to cool down compared to other classrooms, but the new airtight classrooms cooled down quickly.

Initially, the school considered purchasing standard knockdown equipment, but with improved insulation.

When they saw the offerings, each costing about $200,000 in 2021, Menden realized he could design more energy-efficient and sustainable classrooms with a low carbon footprint for a little less money.

The headmaster Dr. Lorenz Metzger said that when the school surveyed its 400 students and their parents about priorities for their future building plan to quickly provide more classrooms, the students said sustainability was their top concern. This was now a priority and the school used the swap vehicles to teach the children about the environment.

The new standard for swap bodies.

The new standard for swap bodies.Credit: Nick Moir

According to DocoMomo Australia, a heritage site specializing in modern architecture, early versions of demountable devices (referred to as mobile or portable devices in some states) were considered “superior” to fixed classrooms in terms of space and equipment, and featured sun protection.

In 1966 they were intended as a temporary solution. This author’s classrooms at Lindfield Public School still exist more than 50 years later.

Self-proclaimed design nerd Tim Ross said he has strong memories of his time in a portable classroom. In Design a legacy On ABC, Ross said the humble car was an Australian design legend. “They’re tough, practical, and pretty much unchanged except for much-needed heating and cooling.”

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And despite “the amazing longevity of portable classrooms, they’ve never really been appreciated,” he said. Ross said Australian Pritzker Prize winner Glenn Murcutt’s most-awarded buildings shared some similarities with the decomposable buildings: they were long and thin and rested lightly on the earth.

The change vehicles also blended into the landscape, said Menden.

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Justin Scaccy

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