building design


Ideally, the main point of entry should be at the front of the school and provide a safe, well lit5, protected shelter for people entering the school. This area should be easily visible from the administration area, and so sufficient windows and glazed doors should be provided. An overhang should be large enough to shelter a large number of people from the sun and rain. This can prevent heatstroke during the summer, and wet and slippery surfaces during storms. The overhang should drain to the sides away from where people might enter it or where it meets the school building.

The main entry area should have a paved, nonslip surface and be sloped to connecting drives and sidewalks for handicap accessibility. Seating areas should be provided on either side especially if the front entry is the prime bus loading zone. The walkway must be wide enough to accommodate seating areas without obstructing normal pedestrian movement. Vandal proof lighting should be provided.

Secondary entries require careful design to prevent them from becoming dark alcoves that someone can hide in. Completely hidden alcoves may shield door and stairs from inclement weather, but also can serve as concealed areas for criminal activity.

While secondary exterior entries should remain recessed for weather protection their alcoves can have improved visibility by the use of chamfered corners. These recesses should be limited by the same constraints applicable to interior room doors6.

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Prepared by: The Florida Center for Community Design + Research
For: The Florida Department of Education
date: July 28, 1993