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Understanding Dutch primary school building design complexity

The development of a theoretical framework to balance different stakeholder interests in order to improve school building design in the Netherlands
PhD ceremony:ing. R. de Vrieze
When:November 01, 2019
Start:16:15
Supervisor:prof. dr. H.C. (Henk) Moll
Co-supervisor:Prof. M. Oostra
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Science and Engineering

A crisis in Dutch school building affects society, in particular primary education. School building appears to be less sustainable than expected, and is not future-proof. A variety of stakeholders involved in school building processes struggle with conflicts of interest and a lot of fragmentation in responsibilities. The research of Ron de Vrieze has resulted in a set of 18 guidelines for the design of primary schools. These guidelines provide an integrated approach for usage in the design phase in order to understand the needed balance between the various interests within primary school building, although more fundamental research is still needed.

The different interests between end users, society and the AEC industry lead to school persistent school building problems (e.g. unhealthy indoor climate, disappointing designs and construction quality, and little flexibility). Increasing the budgets for design and operation, developing new quality guides, and adding more technology do not lead to substantial improvements. Current design complexity only increases the problems. The research question was: ‘how to improve Dutch primary school building design from an integrated perspective of interests?’. This question is answered by a fundamental approach of associations between human needs and sustainable development factors, which both are central positioned as two extremes. Within this broad scope of, on the one hand the pupils, and on the other hand social sustainability needs, a theoretical framework has been developed to generate a number of remarkable interrelated patterns. Patterns are recognized between these two system boundaries. The AEC industry and its processes can use these pattern benefits.