The Green Star 6 Education Rated building Te Mirumiru, the Ngāti Hine Childcare Centre in Northland used timber throughout its semi underground complex. The reason for this was in keeping with the Māori tradition of using natural resources for construction such as earth and timber. The timber also offered a solution to soften the reflective tubing of the Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD’s) that were used throughout to provide sufficient natural daylight during daylight hours; without having to use electric lighting.
Designers for educational facilities often use slatted timber on ceilings for their acoustic properties. A slatted design allows noise to travel around and through, instead of bouncing from wall to wall. Additional benefits are effective insulation and the low maintenance that is required.
If an industrial look is not the objective, then timber is often used. Aesthetically it can be used to screen the ventilation ducting and tubes on the TDD’s that are often installed in education facilities to not only reduce electricity consumption, but to also provide the school attendees as much natural daylight as possible.
Natural timber alongside natural daylight results in some striking installations.