Monday, April 17, 2017

$50bn education projects underway in GCC

Public and private educational organizations are pouring $50 billion in investment into more than 500 educational projects across the GCC, industry experts said ahead of Cityscape Abu Dhabi, a top construction expo.

 With the world’s largest international school market, the UAE alone is adding over 200 schools and 300,000 students by 2020, according to a recent report by Alpen Capital.

“The UAE demonstrates global best practices in using sustainable architecture methods to renovate existing schools and to build new schools on time and on budget. With the latest construction materials, GCC schools can better foster a productive learning environment for both educators and students,” said Santosh Raj Pillai, sales and export manager for the Middle East and Africa at global education construction consultancy Hunter Douglas.

In the region, Hunter Douglas Architectural is exchanging best practices from recently renovating the school building of Helicon VMBO Den Bosch in The Netherlands.

The renovation replaced closely packed spaces with open areas, fluorescent lighting with LED lighting, and added new green façade panels with living plants.

Parents, students, and educators have praised the use of custom-made Hunter Douglas QC300 aluminium façade panels, which create the illusion of bamboo stalks growing in the air. The 3.5-meter-high panels can be easily mounted to save time and money.

The QC300 façade system is fire certified according to ASTM E84 (exposed surfaces such as walls and ceilings) and NFPA 285 (wall assemblies and panels used as components).  

“This design blends in seamlessly with Helicon VMBO's identity as an agricultural educational institution. The advantage of QC300 is that it is made of aluminium – a material that has allowed Hunter Douglas Architectural to develop façade panels in the shape of trapezoids. And with this shape we can create an abstract image of bamboo stems,” said David Vos of SP Architecten. – TradeArabia News Service

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