Making NSW schools feel and work better for everyone

Published: 1 Nov 2018

A new guide to environmental design offers schools ideas for making positive, sustainable changes and improving student and staff comfort.


Good environmental design improves learning outcomes, health and wellbeing. It also reduces the impact of the urban heat-island effect and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Design Guide for schools provides simple strategies to make schools more comfortable like opening windows on both sides of a classroom to encourage air flow. And using trees to reduce playground temperature and offer shaded areas for play and learning.

The guide also highlights schools that have used sustainable and environmental design. Mowbray Public School installed water-efficient bubblers and flow restrictors to minimise water waste. O’Connell St Primary School installed bike racks and repair stations to encourage kids to cycle to school.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said principals and school communities are keen to make a difference and this new resource will offer ideas for making sustainable changes in the building or running of their school.

“Sustainable design is not only great for the environment, but can also improve teaching and learning outcomes and help frame the way that students think about the environment,” Mr Stokes said.

“Small changes to a school’s design and operations to make it more environmentally friendly can also drive down maintenance costs, so there’s a benefit to the bottom line too.”

Find out more about environmental and sustainable design in schools.

Top of page