Ways in which decision makers can incorporate environmental concerns in the design of school buildings are detailed in this bulletin. It focuses on the design of interior partition systems and is intended as a resource for school system facility planners and architects who design schools. Partition systems in schools serve several purposes; they define space, provide acoustical privacy, and myriad other functions. Some traditional criteria for such partitions, along with some building ecology criteria, are detailed. Various partition types such as concrete masonry unit partitions, gypsum wallboard over metal studs, straw panels, and operable partitions are described. Different features of each partition type, such as environmental issues, maintenance, and repair, are offered. Recommendations for what to look for in a particular partition system are given. A decision-making process is outlined, which features various criteria: durability, cost, acoustics, flexibility, maintenance, recycled content, embodied energy, indoor air quality, and raw materials. It is claimed that the most commonly specified systems are environmentally friendly.
Maryland Department of Education, School Facilities Branch, 200 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201; Tel: 410-767-0098
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