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Sustainable Preschool Design and Deconstruction

 We’re excited to announce that the construction of Sustainable Play Preschool is well underway!

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Designing Sustainable Play Preschool

This vital step could not have been achieved without Ben from Rainsford Architecture and Design R[AD].

Ben used the vision of a sustainable, minimal waste construction to create building plans, which focused on the current building envelope, changing only what was required to repurpose a house and dance studio into a preschool. The idea to stick with a simple design meant no major structural changes are made, ensuring minimal environmental impact and a reduction in waste disposal.

The Preschool design features large windows, glass doors, and skylights to ensure sufficient natural lighting is let into the building, resulting in a reduction of the need for artificial lighting.

The founder and approved provider is the drive and passion behind the idea of a Sustainable Preschool. “Children are the future, and as the global need for sustainable development increases, as does the need to implement sustainability into children’s education.” – Sustainable Play Preschool

With a trade in carpentry, it makes sense, the founder is the site foreman and head builder. This ensures the vision is implemented according to plan and with sustainable principles at the forefront of not only the construction but the business plan.

Natural Outdoor Play Spaces

The design of the outdoor play space needed to encourage children to connect with nature and the environment around them, the vision was to see children learning how plants grow, caring for gardens, and using the produce in the kitchen for their meals.

 With all this in mind, the need for a landscape architect with similar values was required, Edible Kids Gardens came through with the perfect design. The design embraces the already green backyard and creates a second play space filled with natural aspects and edible gardens, all while meeting the Australian Standards for playgrounds.


During the deconstruction stage of the preschool development, we implemented a waste hierarchy (see image below) to prioritise waste management; from preventing waste to prioritising how items can be prepared for reuse, recycling, recovery, and as last resort disposal of items. e.g. landfill or incineration.  

sustainable play preschool waste hierarchy sustainable practiceReduce, Reuse and Repair:

Due to clever design, the main structure of the building was able to be kept the same, meaning most of the building and materials to be removed are able to be reused elsewhere in the construction or repaired to a reusable state.

Items which are deemed unusable in the construction have been given away to members of the local community, online through Gumtree or Facebook marketplace, for small items we’ve found it effective to leave out the front of the building. 

Some items which have been re-homed or reused are: Carports, garage, windows, doors, gravel, curtains, bathroom items, fans, plants, decking, vinyl, flooring, retaining wall blocks.

With a little love, redesign and repair items which are waste to one are treasures to another.

sustainable play preschool lake macquarie construction

Concertina doors for ballet studio (Photo 1.3)

lake macquarie preschool

Sign (Photo 1.4)

sustainable preschool newcastle
Pile (Photo 1.5)

Recycle, Recovery and Disposal

Unusable items are separated categorised on-site to ensure the effective implementation of our waste hierarchy approach. 

sustainable construction newcastle

(Photo 1.6)

From our deconstruction, items that can be recycled are green waste, concrete and brick’s, metal, hardwood timber, plasterboard. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to recycle most plastics in Australia and no way at all to recycle treated timber, because of this we opt for the use of recycled building materials where possible. Learn more about how we use recycled materials in our next blog post “What makes our construction Sustainable”.