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Learning Events

Research Laboratory on Educational Facilities


Linking Architecture & Education: Sustainable Design of Learning Environments

Keynote Presentation: Anne Taylor, Ph.D Regents Professor, ASCD Distinguished Professor, School of Architecture and Planning, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Internationally known in architectural education, Anne Taylor, Ph.D. will present the effects of school design on learning.  Additionally, Taylor will emphasize how the physical environment of schools can be used as a learning-teaching tool and a three dimensional text book. Her holistic sustainable philosophy is based on interdisciplinary thinking and years of research and development of newer ways to teach, as well as newer ways to design environments that better support learning. She advocates a complimentary role reversal where the architect becomes an educator of creativity and aesthetics, and the educator as a designer of the mind.

TRLEF Facilities Assessments

Denae Dorris, Tarleton Research Laboratory on Educational Facilities
Huckabee Fellow

Our primary mission at TRLEF is to provide researched based information and assessment services regarding educational facilities and their impact on student learning.  Current facility assessments do not address educational objectives or include educator/student perspective.  TRLEF is dedicated to promoting effective learning environments and facility assessments directly related to educational outcomes.  The Effective Learning Environments Assessment (ELEA) collects data about the environmental impacts on learning from students, parents and teachers.  The ELEA generates data to facilitate discussion about learning environments in order to encourage student achievement.

Net Zero Middle Schools

Scott Layne, Irving Independent School District - Irving, Texas
Assistant Superintendent for Support Services

What if it was possible to design and construct a school that resulted in no or negligible utility bills in order for it to operate?  What if the impact to the general operating budget relative to utility costs would be 10% of a typical building? The Irving ISD is designing and constructing the first net zero middle school in the State of Texas.  It will be the first net zero middle school and the largest school in the country. Renewable energy sources will be on site that will power the building.  On days of high demand, electricity will be purchased from the electric grid.  At other times of the day and year, electricity will be produced on the site and sold back to the electric company.  Over the course of a year, electricity purchased and consumed will be offset by electricity produced and sold; thus the term, net zero.

How to select an Architect

Roy J. Sprague, AIA, CSI, REFP, Cypress-Fairbanks I.S.D.-Houston, TX
Assistant Superintendent of Facilities & Construction

The hiring of an architect can be a very political process.  Do you hire the firm that is local, but then may not have the educational expertise or staff to meet your needs, or do you hire the larger, more experienced firm thus resulting in possibly upsetting your taxpayers?  This session will provide you with a systematic method of selection that will ensure you are making a decision that is in the best interest of your school district.

Cost Effective Trends in School Buildings

Jackson Murphy, MBA, LEEP AP, CEP
Founder and President, Green Bean Analysis, LLC "The Green Bean-Counters"

What are the latest cost effective trends in green buildings?  Which entities are utilizing green buildings and why?  The presenters will discuss the latest financial truths about greening a building or business.

School Design of the Future

Stephenville ISD Students-Teacher: Jamie Pool

Sixty-one Stephenville High School, Interior Design students were charged with the task of designing a high school of the future. The Assignment: Design a school where the architecture and the environment are part of the interactive learning process. Students specifically examined areas of aesthetics and functionality, security, technology, special needs accessibility, energy conservation, sustainable resources and green building into their design. The students achieved design visualization by drafting their schools in Chief Architect and AutoCAD Architectural Desktop programs.

Building for Technology: Today and Tomorrow

Lori Gracey, Executive Director, Texas Computer Education Association

As your school district plans new buildings and retrofits old ones, how can you ensure that they will serve the technological needs of students and staff today and in the future? This session will examine infrastructure requirements and technology trends, along with how to incorporate millennial learning styles in building design.

Economics of Green Schools

Jackson Murphy, MBA, LEEP AP, CEP
Founder and President, Green Bean Analysis, LLC "The Green Bean-Counters"

Does going green make financial sense when school districts are financially strapped?  Yes.  The presenters will examine successful examples of local and national schools greening their buildings and operations to improve the triple bottom line -people, planet and profit.  Additionally, the presenters will review and discuss the various financial returns, first costs, and incentives schools have used to "go green." 

Financial Planning

Deborah Cabrera, CPA, MBA, Irving Independent School District-Irving, TX
Assistant Superintendent Business & Finance

This session will focus on steps needed in order to develop a school district's financial plan for the next biennium with a focus on estimating the district's state funding, property values, tax rate and preparing for a potential tax rate ratification election. 

CPTED: Crime Prevention & Improved Safety Through Environmental Design

Allen Lawrence, RCDD/NTS Specialist

We know how school building design impacts the learning process but what about safety and security? This presentation provides an in depth review of how the CPTED process impacts the safety and security of your facilities. The presenter will provide examples on improving natural surveillance, access control and establishing territoriality before purchasing cameras and access control and demonstrate how the building's design can combat bullying, vandalism and potential for school violence without compromising daily operations.