Langley Academy in Berkshire, England, may be one of the newest, greenest schools on the planet. Its foundational principle is sustainability. One of its hostels is named Gaia (Mother Earth) to remind students and staff that the school curriculum has been structured around teaching students to sustain themselves and the planet.
Langley boasts a rainwater harvesting system used to flush toilets and a biomass boiler, which supplies heat for the whole building using wood chips. A ground source heat pump system that uses renewable geo-energy from the earth and stored energy from the building’s heating and cooling cycles heats the atrium and cafeteria floor. Twenty-one solar panels on the roof collect between 50% and 70% of the academy’s annual energy usage for hot water, and provide the street lighting outside the building. The building itself is flooded with natural light. Students are actively involved in the academy’s organic garden and wildlife pond.
Staff at Langley consistently challenge students to hold everyone to account for wastage. Sustainability Week is an annual event, when students participate in a variety of projects that could change planetary practices in the future.
Category: Autumn 2016