Better Builds in the classroom

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Building an educational website for SGP

Owain Prorok Reach Senior Creative

Owain Prorok

Senior Creative

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Reach have built an intuitive, easy to navigate website to support architects Stephen George + Partners’ Better Buildings initiative.

Better Buildings is a programme designed to introduce children aged 10 and 11 to the issue of carbon and the built environment. It grew out of SGP’s commitment to delivering long term sustainability and social value. Better Buildings is delivered through their Stephen George + You agenda. This is the academic programme through which they make strategic investments in local communities.

An engaging, enjoyable experience

The brief was to produce a website that teachers used in class to guide children through the three stages of the Better Buildings programme. Stage one introduces them to traditional, high carbon materials, stage two to modern, sustainable alternatives, and the final stage gives them tips and advice as they produce designs for their own carbon neutral building.

Unfamiliar terms and industry jargon is explained by cartoon avatars of the SGP staff who run the programme. They also appear in a short video to explain the purpose of Better Buildings.

The Better Buildings web site on a laptop

Proof of concept

Because the first iteration of the site is to establish proof of concept and has been tested with just one school in Leicester, it is not responsive. It was developed on a tight budget and designed for use on a classroom desktop or for projection. It was always intended to be part of a teacher led group activity.

However, it has proved a great success and following its further roll out at a school in Brentford, budget has been released to make it fully responsive. This will enable children, in groups or individually, to make use of it on tablets in a school setting.

SGP are delighted with the level of engagement the site has generated amongst children who have completed the programme and see is a model for taking forward other initiatives in future.

You can visit the Better Buildings website here:

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