Vertical thinking: population growth and schools
Australia is experiencing a significant spike in the numbers of people who call the ‘lucky country’ home. The ABS projects that by 2061 Australia’s population could reach up to 48.3 million and in 2101 could reach as high as 70.1 million (depending on assumptions about future demographic trends relating to fertility, mortality and migration).
What does this expanding reality mean for Australians, particularly those who reside in the country’s capital cities, and what does it mean for the infrastructure of said cities? A city’s buildings must be able to adequately support its inhabitants in order for its residents to live and work comfortably and for the nation to prosper and, as a result, we are beginning to witness facilities, particularly schools, growing upwards – just like the population figures.
With limited land space at our immediate disposal, vertical facilities are popping up in developments where we may least expect them. Schools and aged care facilities, for example, are the latest to reach for the sky, at odds with their traditional sprawling grounds and low-level buildings.
It is projected that, in the next 10 years, the enrolment growth across all sectors of the Australian education scene will surge significantly. As a result, the need for many more schools across all major cities is extremely pressing. The Independent Schools Council of Australia reports that, following the data collected and projected by the ABS, the country will need more than 1500 new schools to accommodate the influx of new school-goers – and it seems that vertical facilities will be the way of the future.
A point of difference between the traditional schools of the past and the vertical schools of the future is the water facilities and water delivery within the institutions. While traditional schools typically utilise corridor drinking fountains and playground bubblers, vertical schools can consider superior water features such as water-filtering installations. These additions can provide clean, filtered water to students via a hygienic appliance, which removes sediment, chemicals, bacteria and cysts while retaining the beneficial minerals. As filtered water systems remove impurities and odours in the water, they can make the water more pleasant to drink and, therefore, can encourage students to drink more. This keeps students hydrated, which has a proven positive impact on brain function and concentration.
Instant filtered boiling, chilled and sparkling water provider Billi reports that, in addition to the health, hygiene and taste benefits for schools, a water filtration system can provide the increased service of offering the options of chilled, sparkling and boiling water. By providing these alternatives to tap water, the filtered water systems promote an increased consumption of water by catering for differing individual preferences – particularly when both chilled and sparkling water are available, says Billi’s marketing manager Adrian Cugnetto.
Billi and Cugnetto envision for the future of schools that all students can share in the convenience and the joy of having filtered water readily accessible to them, and to assist in improving the health and well-being of Australia’s future generations.
As the national population expands and therefore student numbers increase, schools must accommodate for the increased and projected increase in pupils. Thus, they must alter their infrastructure, which also means adapting the nature of water delivery within educational institutions for the better. Vertical schools have the opportunity to implement cleaner and more efficient drinking facilities and therefore enact positive change and improve the health and well-being of Australia’s younger generations.
For a more in-depth investigation of this issue, download the white paper.
Lead image courtesy of Haileybury school.
Billi is a content partner of FM Media.