Farm school campus

Discovery Montessori Nanaimo

What is a Montessori Farm School?

The farm school concept grew from the later work of Dr. Maria Montessori while she developed the Montessori adolescent program which she called the ‘Erdkinder’ program. In this concept, a school community is intentionally situated on a working farm, and acts as a microcosm of society providing meaningful real-world ways for students to connect to their learning, to each other, to economy, and to society. The learning environments on the farm – both inside and outside – are specially prepared for students to apply their academic and social work.

Designed to a CaGBC Zero Carbon Standard

This certification requires that the Montessori evaluate and measure their impact and carbon footprint at every stage of this development, from the design through to the subsequent operation and lifecycle analysis of the building, including the way in which they collect and distribute water.

Being light on the land and protecting our natural resources is very important to Discovery Montessori School. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk it, and they live it. As such, they designed the school building with the environment at the forefront of every decision made.

Reclaimed Cedar Siding Planks

Heritage Lumber sourced this Douglas Fir from a building deconstruction on Fort St. in Victoria. This building was originally built in 1908 as “The Turkish Bath House.”

Heritage lumber then processed the pieces into planed ship lap. These pieces arrived at site on pallets for us to install.

Notice how the Montessori siding is broken up into different columns. This avoids butt joints and allows for a full span between flashing strips. This helps the building envelope function even more effectively.

Different Layers Make up a building envelope


provides superior protection against the damaging effects of air and water ingress on building structures.

This particular build has only exterior insulation, which eliminates the need for vapour and air movement between the exterior and interior of the building.

This makes it more insulated, saving energy during temperature disparities.

Those shiny dots on the insulation are stick pins. They eliminate punctures to the non-permeable self-adhered membrane to maintain integrity. They hold the exterior insulation in place with minimal thermal bridging.

Exterior Insulation:
PowerWool RigiBoard One

“PowerWool was designed to offer the contractor a greater compression strength to ensure straighter walls while providing exceptional fire-resistance and vapour permeability.”

Rain screen & Flashing

Flashing frames the siding material & also sheds water away from the building.

Rain screen ensures any moisture behind the siding can escape. This particular rain screen is treated with copper azori to last even longer. Rain screen also provides a secure anchor to affix the reclaimed cedar siding or Hardieboard panels to.