July in NYC is definitely not for everyone. I’m always one to enjoy any bits of nature that line the city sidewalks, but this time of year you start begging for any version of tree shade during a midday walk.  The difference in temperatures between a tree-lined street and a concrete street that’s devoid of greenery is staggering.

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As I sit here thinking of ways to cool off in this 90+ heat, it brings me back to the schools I visited in the Philippines. Of course it’s hard to compare New York City and the province of Capiz by climate as they are located in very different parts of the world.

The biggest difference is our dependence upon air conditioning, which is nonexistent in the rural regions I visited. While sitting in an un-air-conditioned school for hours is a way of life there, most New Yorkers tend to run for the nearest movie theater during a summer heat wave.

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Since the rural schools cannot count on similar summer luxuries like A/C or even electric fans, every little bit of cooling counts. This means utilizing tree branches for shade, opening louvered windows to allow for cross-breezes, or simply using natural materials that help circulate air.

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Our school design is created to counteract this brutal heat whenever possible while still being ecologically minded. -JESSIE

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Photography by Jessica Bruah

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