Abu Dhabi schools pipeline grows

New smart school designs are expected to drive educational achievement in UAE capital, said organisation

Abu Dhabi Education Council

Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) will develop 18 new schools across the emirate starting mid-2010, as part of a 10-year strategic schools facilities plan. The schools will include seven cycle one (grade kindergarten-five) schools, seven combined cycle two and three schools (six-12), two cycle three schools (grades 10-12), and two kindergarten-12 schools.

Designs will contain features not seen at schools in Abu Dhabi before, according to ADEC, which held an international Concept Design competition inviting a number of architectural firms to submit innovative designs implementing the concept of “learning communities” in which the student is the centre of the learning process and where classrooms and science labs are integrated with break-out areas for multiple learning opportunities. “We are creating a new way of learning. Development of analytical skills in our students is a key objective of ADEC’s strategic plan and these new learning communities combined with the other innovative features of our school designs will help bring this initiative to life,” said ADEC director of infrastructure and facilities Hamad Al-Daheri, speaking at the building schools exhibition and Conference – Middle East and North Africa (BSEC Mena) held at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADEC) last month.

“Research has proven that a welldesigned school building could be a decisive factor on driving student achievement and retaining quality teachers.”

ADEC received more than 27 proposals from firms worldwide and selected three designs that will serve as the model for future school development in Abu Dhabi. The Planar Model features classrooms arranged along the perimeter of the building, with specialised common spaces, such as labs and music rooms, concentrated in the middle spine. The studio E/Tawreed Model will be used predominantly for cycle one schools and features defined learning communities set between outdoor learning facilities. The lumiset model designed specifically for cycle two and cycle three schools is organised along a central space that has a triangular shape and accommodates communal facilities such as a library, ICT labs and a cafeteria.

ADEC’s new school designs will be economical and easy to build and operate, said ADEC. Sustainability features have been incorporated into school design such as energy-efficient air-conditioning systems and watersaving devises. orientations, insulation and shading devices have been carefully planned and all the electricity required for daily consumption in classrooms will be generated on the school site.

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