Outdoor Shelters and Eco Hub for Primary School

eco classrooms

outdoor shelter with renewable energy equipment

We have just completed quite an interesting project for a school in South London where we have basically supplied them with an “eco hub” which is designed to be both an outdoor classroom or outdoor shelter but which is also an educational tool to help children learn about and appreciate the environment.

We started working on the project with the school last year and came up with the idea of having a small 3m octagonal shelter which say 15 children could sit in at any one given time. It was to be sited next to the school’s existing gardening and planting area so fitted in very well with the whole overall eco schools ethos of healthy living and renewable energy.

We were easily able to supply a building from our comprehensive range of outdoor shelters for schools as the school specifically wanted one which needed to be both “sideless and floorless”. We did however fit an upper panel to one side of the building as this was going to be used to host the board for the renewable energy system.

On the roof, we have fitted a solar panel (which is made from special materials to easily withstand errant footballs and potential vandalism) and a mini wind turbine which is mounted to the side on a pole. The siting of the outdoor shelter at the school is in a very good position because it is south facing (so plenty of sun and natural light for the solar panel) and is not shielded by any trees which would act as a wind block for the turbine. The energy created by these two items is then stored in a special battery which is mounted (but yet concealed) onto the main control board. This power is then in turn converted into usable electricity via an inverter whereby the children can plug in their laptops, tablets, mobiles etc into the two power sockets – and thereby appreciate 100% green energy powered by the elements!

We have also supplied the school with a special dynamo bike which is fitted into a back A frame holster. When the children pedal the bike, it creates energy via a dynamo system and this feeds into a special charging unit for mobile devices. As above, the children can then charge up their mobile devices through clean energy and good old fashioned pedal power.

Both these renewable energy systems are also actively involving the participation of the school children and therefore this way, they will appreciate how we can easily create clean and green energy which does not pollute the environment without having to burn fossil fuels. And of course, there is a bit of fun involved too.

The school has further plans for future developments along this eco theme including a music system which is powered by renewable energy. And a water butt and roof guttering system which will be retro-fitted to the outdoor shelter so that the harvested rain water can be used to water the planters and beds in the next door gardening facility – which at the moment is a problem as there is no water supply to this area and is beyond the reach of a hose.

The project was funded by Tesco’s Bags of Help community grant.

A short video of this installation and project can be seen on the eco classroom link.

For further information on our eco outdoor shelters, please contact the Hideout House Company on 01865 858982 or email: info@hideouthouse.com