Colegio Alemán Humboldt Samborondón designed its buildings to create a focused and healthy learning environment for its students with design elements that not only benefited its occupants but the environment as well.
|Project Name||Colegio Alemán Humboldt Samborondón|
|Buildings Owner||Asociación Colegio Alemán Humboldt de Guayaquil|
|Total Floor Area Certified||8888.44 m2|
|Certification Date||12 May 2022|
Colegio Alemán Humboldt Samborondón (Colegio Alemán) is a multilingual school providing education for those in Guayaquil aged between 3 and 18 years old. Founded in 1959 to provide education for German immigrants in the city, the school has over 1,000 pupils today and is continuing to grow. Colegio Alemán is known for its academic excellence. Its mission is to educate people to navigate a changing and globalized world. The school currently has 3 EDGE certified buildings: the kindergarten, the administration building and a secondary school building.
In the school’s design and development stages, Colegio Alemán had one thing in mind: create an environment that would cultivate and optimise learning and education. The buildings were designed with natural ventilation and lighting to provide a healthy learning environment, and the flooring and ceilings were designed for better acoustics. All design features were checked to make sure they were safe for children. These design features, amid other ones, helped the school achieve EDGE certification.
Across the 3 certified buildings, the school achieved a minimum of: 53% less energy in embodied materials, 33% water savings and 37% energy savings compared to a local baseline value. Annually, this equates to over 170 tons of carbon dioxide saved. What stands out in this project is that many of the original design features drove resource efficiency improvements. The school only had to change one type of faucet within the building to achieve the EDGE standard. All other design features achieved the standard without the need for a further retrofit strategy. This is an example of how thoughtful planning and design can not only benefit a building’s occupants but the planet as well.
The project is also a great example of the intersection between the environment and education as EDGE has become a stimulant of exploration for the school’s pupils. The students were keen to learn about the environmental impact of buildings and how EDGE has been used as a tool to mitigate the effects of climate change. The certification process became an investigation playground for pupils of all ages, so much so, that following the students’ keen interests, the school communicated with the International Baccalaureate coordinator to implement the students’ learnings within the International Baccalaureate programme.
EDGE was chosen for several reasons. There were many players involved, and each had a unique driver to use EDGE. The project was developed by Asociación Colegio Alemán Humboldt de Guayaquil, who was looking to expand the school’s capacity and also do it in a sustainable way. EDGE is quickly becoming the most common certification for buildings in Ecuador, so it seemed best to choose EDGE for this project to highlight the environmental considerations of the building. While EDGE is less widely known in the education sector, Colegio Alemán wanted to pioneer EDGE for the sector. As part of the expansion, the school reached out to Procredit Bank in 2018 to help support with funding for an expansion
Procredit Bank is known for its sustainability commitments. With ambitious climate commitments as a bank, as well as experience with various sustainable initiatives including EDGE, the bank was in a good position to support the school in undergoing a green expansion. Procredit also has a partnership with the Global Climate Partnership Fund (GPCF), an innovative impact investment fund focused on emerging economies. GCPF provides technical assistance and support to companies through financial institution intermediaries to advance energy efficiency and decarbonisation goals.
Through the combined partnership of GCPF and Procredit, Colegio Aleman was able to get financial and technical support for the new development and to implement EDGE certification. The ProCredit team has an accredited EDGE Expert in the team who provided technical support throughout the process. The EDGE certification also aligned with the financing criteria from GPCF, as the fund is focused on carbon savings and climate change mitigation and requires independent validation of these components for each investment. Under this framework, the school was able to gain financial support from GCPF to gain the certification.
This is just the start of Colegio Alemán’s green building journey. It currently has a building under construction where EDGE was applied on the purchase and the design processes. It is also developing two more buildings that are of the same typology and using the same design principles as the certified secondary school building. The experience of undergoing EDGE certification has given the school the knowledge and basis it needs to continue to focus on resource efficiency and ensure that all buildings moving forward have a lower environmental impact.
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