Essential Elements of Safe School Design at AIAcon2019
A workshop at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019, “Designing Safer Schools: Expanding the Architect’s Tools and Advocacy,” sought to tackle challenges to advocating for safety in school design.
DLR Group Associate Mariana Lavezzo, LEED AP, shared during the presentation that she has fielded concerns from clients about the transparency and openness of learning studios as they relate to active shooters. The reason why she believes in openness, however, relates just as much to CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles as it does to the benefits that students receive from such an environment.
“It’s the same planning principles as outside,” she says. “If you’re staff and you’re supervising a bunch of kids playing outside, you want this wide angle of supervision. Same thing for the interior. So if you could see everything that’s going on standing in this one spot, you could see trouble brewing easier than if all these walls were solid and you can’t see what’s going on.” Mitigating hidden areas also has the advantage of creating fewer spaces for bullying to occur.