The Halton Waldorf School is embarking on an expansion of their facility into a purpose built high school, with design features that reflect the Waldorf approach to learning, which can be defined as follows:
A formal educational, therapeutic and creative system established by Rudolf Steiner, seeking to use mainly natural means to optimize physical and mental health and well being.
The site for the new school is within an existing residential neighbourhood, with a natural watercourse running past the back of the property.
The building and site are closely integrated, with the outdoors also designed as teaching spaces. The landscape design, by Kendall Flower Landscape Architecture, is an entirely native planting, with no irrigation and natural storm water management.
Low impact development techniques include storm water infiltration, permeable parking lot surfaces, and integration of existing trees into the site layout.
The school building is designed to use passive and active energy systems, including cross and stack ventilation, shading, geothermal heating and cooling, high performance building envelope.
Building Materials are selected for their inherent “low impact” attributes, including wood structure and siding, recycled content in concrete, gypsum board; natural flooring, and natural pigment wall finishes.
The roof structure is proposed to be made using tree–like structural supports, and “NLT” (Nail Laminated Timber) for the roof deck.
The interior environment will be influenced by use of natural ventilation, non-toxic building materials and finishes, and also low-stress lighting and acoustics. With small class sizes, the quality of the classrooms can be customized to suit time of day and time of year.