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A modern and sustainable school full of daylight

Lans Education Centre is a modern school facility located at the foot of mountains in the Austrian town of Lans. The new-build school, designed by Schwärzler Architects, also acts as a community hub for school and public events.

School design receives Europe wide recognition

In 2017, Schwärzler Architects won a school competition that secured the project and gained Europe wide recognition for design. The modern school includes two and three-storey building structures with an outdoor yard situated between both buildings.

Lans Educational Center is home to a crèche, kindergarten, primary school, music academy, library and event spaces. Hybrid concrete and wooden constructions have been built on sloping land. Each construction was sized so that the school doesn’t dominate the surrounding landscape, and mirrored the cube shape of neighboring buildings in relation to height and shape.

The VELUX Daylight Visualizer was utilized at the design concept stage. This digital tool provided 3D simulations to accurately predicate and calculate daylight levels in advance of construction. Digital images enabled architects and building owners make the best daylighting decisions for school operations.

Modular skylights provide daylight in active spaces

On entering the school, large structural openings keep students and staff connected to surrounding nature via window facades and glass entries. In total, 75 skylight modules have been added to two distinct shed roofs, allowing daylight to enter the interior of the school.

Central spaces such as a large reception area also function as meeting places for local events. A fluid design means movement throughout the school is accompanied by daylight and comfort ventilation. Natural light and fresh air improves the well-being, focus and productivity of young learners and teachers.

Skylights and photovoltaic panels support sustainability

Central to design goals was an ambitious energy concept that included a dual pitched roof that provided ventilation, daylight and solar energy. Each shed roof has three rows of modular skylights that include individual venting modules. Cross-ventilation works to reduce energy consumption within the school with less reliance on air conditioning. North facing skylights allow glare free and soft daylight to enter busy learning environments. Photovoltaic panels absorb sunlight year-round.




Architectural drawings

Products used in project

6 x Northlight 65°

Northlight 25-90°

A rooflight series for sloped, shed or saw tooth roofs.

Illustration of Northlight solution Read more

Quantity of modules: 75
57 x fixed modules 1000 x 1200 mm
6 x fixed modules 900 x 1200 mm
12 x venting modules 1000 x 1200 mm (Open System)

Glazing: pane variant 16, Ug-value 0.7 W/m2K

Northlight 25-90°

A rooflight series for sloped, shed or saw tooth roofs.

Illustration of Northlight solution Read more

Ingrid Schwärzler

Schwärzler Architects

North facing skylights allowed us to optimize daylight levels for young learners to play, read and study. Soft daylight enters the school from morning to night, this allows us to use our open spaces in a lot of ways. The school foyer, for example, can be used for dining, community meetings and extra-curricular activities. The foyer of the kindergarten is used by children who are constantly on the move. The staircase is daylit, as is the play area.

Ingrid Schwärzler

Schwärzler Architects

With the help of the VELUX Daylight Visualizer, our committee and council were convinced that daylight levels should be executed, as planned at the design stage. Early daylight visualization allowed us to examine the intensity of light throughout the school in detail. In the kindergarten, natural light on the ground floor was significantly improved by 3D images. This allowed our architects to adapt design plans accordingly, and for us to choose the best skylights for the school.

VELUX Daylight Visualizer

The VELUX Daylight Visualizer provides accurate daylight level calculations to inform and enlighten product design decisions, at concept stage.
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