|Monday, June 22|
In Canada, as in other countries, schools built in response to the post-war baby boom have reached the end of their first life cycle. Poor air quality, deteriorating buildings or demands for additional space all point to the need to renovate these older schools to make them more sustainable. There is a need not only to repair these schools, but also to adapt them to social and educational realities for which they were not originally designed, in order to support students' educational success and the well-being of all. Several initiatives - regional, provincial or national - have been established in different countries to guide decision-making with scientific evidence and an in-depth knowledge of school buildings in place. This intensive session will focus on research and knowledge transfer through innovative processes mandated by various government authorities to architectural researchers from three countries to inform the modernization of primary and secondary schools. In addition to IAPS delegates, close to 75 key actors and decision-makers involved in Quebec the ongoing school renovation process in Quebec at different levels of governance have been convened to this event, including members the minister of Education office. The program is organized in two sessions of 90 minutes each, with generous exchange periods with the audience reserved at the end of each session (in French and English). The first session reports on the Portugal national secondary school renovation program which is now completed and evaluated. Two professors-researchers from Lisbon, Teresa V. Heitor (architect) and Luisa Veloso (sociologist), will present the planning and outcome of the high school renovation program. The second session will focus on ongoing elementary school renovation programs, first, the one in the Brussels metro area, second, the one in the province of Quebec. Marina Berbal from the firm "+ ReseARCH" in Brussels will present the process put together to produce user-friendly guidelines to inform the renovation of elementary schools, as well as discuss its application to this date. Carole Després, professor of architecture from the research consortium Schola will present The ABCs of School Renovation produced for the ministry of Education. In reporting on major school renewal processes, each of which involving research and the participation of concerned communities, researchers will be invited to share some lessons of wisdom from their experiences.
School building rehabilitation: Towards a collaborative design model. The Portuguese experience
* Teresa V. Heitor, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Portugal
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the Secondary School Modernization Program rational (2007-2011) launched by the Portuguese government in 2007, describe the strategies applied in the design briefing process, and discuss the type of interaction and collaboration established among the principal actors during the decision-making process. A collaborative design process was put into action, with direct communication between different parties: designers, school user groups and programme managers. The lack of experience on architectural design problem solving and skills on design cognition among almost the school users group and the inexperience of designers and other construction professionals to work in close collaboration with non-designers, has posed further problems. Modernisation of the school building stock involved redesigning existing facilities by reorganising the spatial layout; recovering and restoring inadequate spaces; replacing failed building systems and components; improving environmental comfort, safety, security and accessibility conditions as well as energy efficiency and information and communication systems. The interaction with the school board began immediately after the school was selected to be refurbished. School boards were asked to evaluate their current and future educational needs and to set out the school vision and goals that the school wanted to achieve. By allowing the early engagement of the school boards and their communities on the decision-making process, the users role in identifying needs was recognized. As a result, the final solution was not a standardised one, but rather one which was discussed and approved by the school community, reflecting the educational project pursued by each school.
Space, Learning and Public Policy: lessons from the Portuguese case
* Luísa Veloso, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
In the presentation it will be discussed some of the results of an evaluation study of a nation-wide school renovation programme in Portugal: the Secondary Schools Modernisation Programme (SSMP), lauched in 2007, together with the creation of a state-owned company Parque Escolar (PE) to run the programme. SSMP had the broader objective of reforming the state school buildings network and was based on the assumption that the quality of school buildings is a driving force in improving education and promoting equal access to education. Its scale and scope raise the interest for a study on the complex impacts that such a policy initiative can have in political, educational and social terms. The study was conducted by a team of researchers of Cies-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa focusing on the process of the renovation of the schools buildings, considering the debate on the structuring role of space and the social function of architecture. The reflection will focus on the analysis of the policy implementation, taking into account various dimensions, such as, e.g., school community participation, how the programme requirement to involve users in the renovation was met and by examining perceptions of the programmes pedagogical principles.