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‘School buildings should last at least 25 years’

MANILA, Philippines — New buildings that will be constructed in public elementary and high schools should last at least 25 years, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

The requirement is part of the recently released guidelines containing the minimum performance standards and specification for public school buildings approved by Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

With various stakeholders expressing interest to donate school buildings to the government, Briones said there is a need to come up with a set of minimum requirements to ensure the safety of students.

“This will guide the department and other stakeholders in the preparation of plans — architectural, structural, electrical, fire protection and sanitary — to ensure the comfort and safety of the would-be occupants of the school buildings,” Briones said.

“A well-designed school building that considers ergonomics, anthropometrics, thermal comfort, illumination, ventilation, acoustics, color and compliance with the law, contributes to improved student performance and makes a lasting impression on the community with regard to the importance of education,” she added.

Based on the guidelines, school buildings should also be able to withstand strong typhoons and earthquakes, setting minimum wind speed, seismic and live electrical loads to ensure that the buildings will not sustain significant damage in case of disasters.

The guidelines also set minimum requirements in terms of classroom size, roofing, painting, ventilation, electrical and plumbing, among others.           

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