As the latest images of the new Senior School were unveiled, the girls in Go Green, a club which aims to promote sustainability throughout the school and encourage energy-saving strategies so that the school can reduce it’s carbon footprint, wanted to ensure that the new school would be as energy efficient as possible. Laura Evans and Zoya Zaman write about their experience meeting the Senior School developers.
Over the past few weeks, the new school building was a prominent topic of discussion at our regular Go Green meetings; we were buzzing about the potential to introduce current technologies that could directly improve our energy efficiency.
So, we decided to speak to Mrs French to put forward some of our ideas for sustainable, renewable technologies in the new school. Subsequently, Mrs French kindly invited Mrs Edmonds (our wonderful go-to Go-Green teacher), and us to a Project Board meeting and a meeting with the construction team- ‘Delivering the Promise’. We were to present our ideas to the GDST board, Project Managers and the construction team. Having done our research, we were thrilled to be a part of such a crucial meeting in the development of the new school building.
At the meetings we suggested and presented our ideas. Some of our ideas included solar panels, a water recycling system, a biogas boiler and waffle grids in the car park (to increase infiltration and to encourage a natural environment which fits into the surroundings).
The plans for the new school already look fantastic and we were so impressed that so many sustainable ideas are already being considered. For example, the introduction of automatic lights that only turn on when there is motion detected in the room, and when there is insufficient natural daylight. Thus, our energy usage is reduced, as currently lights are a huge source of energy wastage.
Furthermore, we learned that our construction team is always taking measures to ensure that throughout the process of building our school, the surrounding environment is cared for attentively; there is an environmental advisor to the team, and standards to comply with. For example, we learned that about 99.8% of waste from the construction is diverted from landfills – an amazing figure!
Although some of our ideas were very aspirational, the meetings were really positive and we are so excited that such sustainable initiatives are being considered and implemented. Both of us were amazed to hear about the current technologies being used, such as methods to ensure minimal heat loss around the new school.
The purpose of the meetings was to present our ideas to others and represent the future generation of all NHSG pupils, and in the process we were able to learn so much! Having to introduce ourselves in front of a large board was daunting, but we quickly fell into place and got thoroughly excited about the new plans.
The Go Green Team are hugely proud and delighted to see the new school building and all its impressive facilities.
Thank you to Mrs Edmonds for encouraging us to always take our ideas forward and for motivating us to make a real difference. And thank you to Mrs French for inviting us to get involved in these exciting meetings, and allowing us to have such a direct say in the construction of the new school. Although we won’t go to the new school given that this is our last year, we both feel honoured to have had the opportunity to be a part of something so great.