Kids Web Japan

Environment Friendly Living


Morning assembly and other ceremonies take place in the wide-open gallery.

When Shinanodai Elementary had to move from its old buildings to make way for
a new bypass, the then principal asked people to submit designs for a new school
“with dreams.” 57 companies from around Japan sent in ideas. The principal
held meetings with teachers, local people, and others almost every day before
deciding on the design for the new school. The most important thing was to make
the school easy to use. By making use of natural light and wind, everywhere in
the school is bright and has a cool breeze flowing through it.


The media room has lots of books and computers.

The pride of the school is its solar power generation system, in which panels
on the roof turn sunlight into electricity. This electricity is stored and used
to power lights and other electrical items, and any electricity that is left over
can be sold to the local power company. The school is also proud of its floor
heating system, which uses cheap nighttime electricity. The electricity is stored
during the night and used during the day to heat the floor of the school. As each
classroom has a workspace where the students often sit on the floor, the students
are happy that the floor is always warm.


The water in the swimming pool can be used as drinking water during an emergency.

Also, the school has set up a system by which the water in the school swimming
pool is made safe to use as drinking water. And as the school is designated as
an evacuation center in the event of an earthquake or typhoon, there is an emergency
supply of food stored in the gymnasium.

The school has many other ideas for saving energy. The water used to flush the
toilets is rainwater, for example, while any leftovers from lunch are used as
fertilizer. As an environmentally friendly school that uses as little energy as
possible, in 2003 Shinanodai Elementary was chosen by a government research agency
as a model school for energy-saving in education.

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