bioclimatic European School Complex in Voutes, Crete (Greece)
N C E P T I O N and P L A N N I N G
urban layout of the International School is structurally modelled on
the typical Cretan village centre. In accordance with this, the
spatial limits of the buildings, concurrent with the topographic edge
of the auditorium, form a central square, namely the school yard.
This will be made accessible via a network of small streets and
lanes. The main entrance is effected by way of the central lane from
the access road where the school bus stop is situated.
complete school zone will be surrounded by a green belt developed out
of the existing olive bowery. The strict, geometrical basic structure
of the olive-tree culture will be compacted in such a way that a
protective green belt encircles the Learning Village. The outer
playing fields will cut into the green zone of the sports area.
with the protective belt of trees and the village-like buildings, an
urban, self-contained 'landscape island' will emerge that creates its
own cosmos in its interior.
important design criterion is the inclusion of the area's
topographical situation. Bearing in mind that the buildings range
down the slope in dependence on their floor-level status, they are to
be integrated in a well-balanced way. The highest building will thus
occupy the deepest part of the trough, while the single-storey
nursery will be positioned on the incline above.
topographical situation will also be taken into consideration when
forming the outer areas. Following the contour lines, a school yard
emerges on the downward gradient, its limits set by the school
buildings and the steep drop of the breaking edge. The auditorium
will be worked into this natural break with steps that can also be
used as seating.
including the surroundings to hand, both building-structure and
utilisation are woven into the natural environment and this site in
B I O C L I M A T I C E
N E R G Y C O N C E P T
The principle aim of the
energy and climatic concept for the European School Complex in Crete
is to create optimal environmental conditions with a minimal energy
demand based on passive strategies.
is achieved in three steps: reducing the energy demand as much as
possible, meeting remaining demands with high-performance,
building-integrated systems and providing those systems with as many
renewable sources as possible.
environmental concept for the School was therefore tailored to the
specific demands of such a building. The local climatic conditions,
such as wind and sun, provided the basis for the architectural
design. The buildings will deflect the warm north-eastern winds from
the courtyards, providing sheltered outdoor areas. At the same time,
the courtyards will serve additionally as 'green lungs' providing
daylight to the surrounding rooms. Wind and sun are used to support
the exhaust air by creating a suction effect at the top of the solar
chimneys. Ground energy will be used to pre-cool or pre-heat the
fresh air. The ground earth-duct will supply fresh air to the class
rooms by utilising the principle of highly-convenient displacement
ventilation. The exhaust air will be extracted through the solar
chimneys, which serve as a “sun-and-wind- driven fan”. This
passive strategy will be used for both natural ventilation during the
day and to extract heat from the massive ceilings during the night (
night purge ). The
fresh air will be absorbed into the class rooms from the 'green-lung'
local micro-climate created here by trees and shade will be
beneficial by providing cooler ambient conditions. The cooler air
will thus be used for natural ventilation via the earth-duct.
Manually-operable windows in each room enable the fresh air rate to
be under individual control, thus creating highly-comfortable spaces.
very cold periods, the solar hot-water system is used in combination
with a waste-heat connection from the hospital nearby. The solar
hot-water system also provides hot water for the kitchen.