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CELE Exchange, Centre for Effective Learning Environments

Centre for Effective Learning Environments

CELE Exchange, formerly PEB Exchange, is the journal of the OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE). It addresses issues related to providing a quality educational infrastructure in a cost-effective way. Innovative and environmentally sustainable design, asset management, school safety, and campus development are some of the themes covered.

CELE Exchange informs its readers – educators, policy makers, architects, managers and others concerned with schools and universities – of international events, recent publications and research, member countries' experiences and OECD activities promoting the efficient planning and management of educational facilities.

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San Diego's Capital Planning Process

Centre for Effective Learning Environments

Capital planning for schools should include both qualitative and quantitative dimensions. And while building condition remains an important and necessary factor in short- and long-range facility planning, by itself it is not sufficient to reveal the full range of building performance issues or to guide decision making and strategies for prudent capital investments. Functionality – sometimes referred to as “serviceability” or “fitness of purpose” – has to do with how school buildings and sites support users’ activities. Its reference points are the owner’s operating requirements that represent the purposes and objectives for which the facility was originally designed and built, plus the many new functional requirements that have inevitably arisen over time (driven by such factors as enrolment growth or decline, grade reconfiguration, trends in curriculum, technology or educational philosophy, and community uses). In terms of functionality, a school can have positive attributes – it can be safe and secure, healthy and comfortable, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable, even uplifting and inspirational – or negative ones – it can be overcrowded or underutilised, dilapidated or obsolete, inefficient and expensive, or even dangerous. There is a welcome and growing body of literature on links between the functional quality of educational buildings and the academic performance of the students who occupy them. This research is also consistent with new attention to the environmental aspects of schools, which are significant in terms of embodied pedagogy, the health and comfort of educators and learners, and, indeed, the long-term prospects for life on the planet.

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