Designed for learning?
Achieving sustainable outcomes for the future requires personal responsibility and accountability for the environmental impact of our actions. The question for educators has been how best to impart this 'understanding of our actions' in order to engage individual accountability for the environment. To a large extent this question is being resolved through new approaches to schools' master planning and design which integrates sustainable architecture into the academic curriculum, thereby encouraging students not only to learn from, but be accountable for, their built environment. In effect, the school's architecture becomes an active teaching aid. Architectural solutions provide dual benefits to the school. In addition to providing an active learning environment, sustainable buildings minimise the school's impact on the environment, providing energy savings and, potentially, future carbon reduction rewards. One of the ways in which these objectives can be achieved is through passive design; the article provides examples of how this has been implemented at St Leonard's College's Sustainability Centre at the Cornish Campus and Wesley College's Chum Creek Outdoor Education Campus in Melbourne, and Methodist Ladies' College's Marshmead Campus in eastern Gippsland. [Author abstract, ed]