The Step Towards the Energy Efficiency: The First Typology of Schools in Serbia


The “National  School  Typology” study has recently been presented on the most suitable approaches to the renovation of school buildings and the improvement of energy efficiency, which will be the basis for making further strategic decisions regarding the restoration of school buildings.

Photo: GIZ (The Authors of the Study)

The study was carried out as part of the German-Serbian  Development  Cooperation  project,  which  was  im-plemented  by  the  German  Organization  for  International  Cooperation GIZ, with a participation of a team of experts from  the  Faculty  of  Architecture,  Mechanical  and  Electrical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, supported by the line ministries of the Government of Serbia. Based on this  typology,  now  every  school  can  recognise  its  facility  from the models defined in the study and choose the most appropriate type of restoration.

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

Professors  Branislav  Zivkovic  from  the  Faculty  of  Mchanical  Engineering  and  Dusan  Ignjatovic  from  the  Faculty of Architecture participated in the preparation of this study,  which  included  the  database  of  1,857  school  buildings,  out  of  3,890  schools  in Serbia,  which  was  more  than  sufficient  amount  of  sample  for  statistical  analysis.  This  base has suffered a certain “cleansing”, and the sample for analysis  has  been  reduced  to  1,268  buildings.  The  buildings  themselves  are  from  different  periods,  most  of  them  built  between  1946  and  1970.  “Considering  that  the  greatest number of school buildings dated from the period when energy consumption was not taken into account, and when the  building’s  envelope  was  not  thermally  isolated,  it  can be  concluded  that  schools  are  relatively  big  consumers  of  energy  per  unit  area,”  Professor  Zivkovic  says.  The  buildings  themselves  are  mostly  commission  buildings,  structures  planned  throughout  the  territory  of  the  Republic  of Serbia,  regardless  of  their  geographical  disposition,  size, and  age.  According  to  their  structure,  they  correspond  to the  specific  requirements  of  the  educational  process  that has  changed  significantly  during  history.  The  beginnings are  mainly  related  to  the  development  of  the  educational process itself while fulfilling the minimum requirements, whereas at the end of the 20th century we can see complex structures with very diverse contents. Diversity is mostly related to the arrangement of the buildings or whether they are planned for rural or urban areas or the sheer size of the school building itself. Smaller buildings are simple structures, composed of several units with almost no additional rooms, while large buildings are very complex.  Thus, “in the field“ we can encounter objects that, besides classrooms, barely possess elementary hygienic  facilities, but also those that have many different halls or swimming pools in their facilities.

The energy efficiency measures should
be applied to a fully functional facility
to reduce the energy consumption

Dusan Ignjatovic, the professor at the Faculty of Architecture, says that from the historical point of view, important symbolic functions have been linked to the massive buildings so that they are often seen as very representative structures and, in a way, a “decoration” of the cities in which they were built. As of lately, they are in fact almost considered as theoretical models of the development of the educational process.  “Given this diversity, it is clear that it is a question of the quality improvement, especially regarding the energy efficiency, and a very diverse one indeed. It ranges from simple material and technical improvements to the building envelope and installed systems to the structural  changes  to  raise  the  general  level  of  the  educational process with the addition of new functional units. The variety of forms of presentation is one of the most significant challenges for the process of reconstruction and improvement,” Professor Ignjatovic says.

Photo: GIZ

By   the   analysis   and   statistical   processing   of   1,268  schools, which formed the sample for the study, ten types and  three subtypes  of  schools  were  selected  in  10  basic categories. The buildings were classified according to the construction  period, the gross area of the building, the characteristics of the thermal coating (façade, wall and roof materials, the existence of thermal insulation, the size, and the  type  of  windows),  number  of  floors  and  compactness  of  the  building.

You can read the whole article in the eleventh issue of the Energy Portal Magazine SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE, in July 2018.

Prepared by: Tamara Zjacic