Sustainable classroom designs

Have you ever wondered what goes into building a new structure like your school classroom? Or how design practices can reduce our impact on the environment and bring us closer to nature? 

Now you can take a front-row seat as our team at GISS and architect Knut Menden share updates and insider information here on everything you need to know about our three new classrooms - from its biophilic design principles, to what's in the walls that achieve a comfortable temperature year-round. HINT: it's got to do with 'Passivhaus'. 

The journey begins here:

Meet the architect behind our new classrooms

Knut Menden has been involved in award winning Australian school design for 13 years, and is well known for energy efficient sustainable buildings, particularly built from low carbon mass timber.

Registered Architect Knut Menden NSW (ARB 10926), ACT (ARB 2720), Germany (AKNW 39738)
Certified Passive House Designer Knut Menden  


12 August 2021 - Design

Here's a close-up of the design behind keeping temperatures comfortable all year round - 

Our new classrooms are designed to meet the Passivhaus standard which combines thermal comfort, indoor air quality and very low energy consumption - around 90% less than standard buildings! 

This is achieved through a rigorous build quality requiring insulation that reduces thermal bridges or movement of heat, air tightness, high-performance windows and doors, and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). 

September 2021 - Shipping & Arrival

The classroom materials were produced in September and have been loaded on a ship that arrived in Canberra in November.


November/December 2021 - Factory Prefabrication of our Classrooms

Check out this photo of our first classroom being assembled! 

Watch this cool video from our architect Knut to see how our classrooms will come together! 

G.I.S.S. Modular classrooms - model making from Knut on Vimeo.

March 2022 - Opening of new Classrooms

At the beginning of this year, the eagerly awaited and urgently needed additional class rooms of GISS were opened, which were constructed according to the passive house design. As a result, the bright classrooms made of solid wood have a very low energy consumption and save CO2 emissions.