VELUX, known worldwide for making the most of daylight and fresh air through the roof, has developed an enlightening new eBook; Building Better Schools: Six ways to help children learn.
Free to download via the company’s website, the eBook is an essential reference point for architects and building designers looking to create inspirational buildings that improve educational outcomes.
The eBook will be of particular interest to specifiers and their client’s working in the education sector, an increasing number of whom are accessing the benefits offered by VELUX’s high performance Modular Skylights, which are designed specifically for commercial buildings.
Building Better Schools, presents up-to-date information on the benefits of natural light and ventilation, which has been shown in the HEAD1 study to improve educational performance by 8%.
The eBook includes a number of startling and illuminating facts about the benefits of natural light and ventilation:
The guide includes practical ways on how to access these benefits, for example, dedicated sections on ‘Ways to improve the daylight condition in classrooms’.
Findings outlined in the HEAD study reveal that certain design elements are intrinsic to achieving this level of improved learning in the classroom. These are: daylight, indoor air quality, acoustic environment, temperature, classroom design and visual stimulation.
Naturalness (light, temperature and air quality), was found to have the greatest impact on learning, accounting for around half (49%) of all improvements in educational outcomes. The Building Better Schools eBook presents clear evidence of the effect of building design on the physical learning space in a single, easy to access reference document.
“We encourage anyone involved in building design within the learning environment to refer to the Building Better Schools eBook,” said Scott Leeder, Commercial Director at VELUX Modular Skylights. “It’s completely free and brings together a wide range of peer-reviewed research and practical design guidance on how to improve educational outcomes.”
Scott added: “Studies have found that improved physical characteristics of classrooms - and specifically increased levels of natural light and ventilation - can boost the learning outcomes of students. The guide sets out a number of ways that these benefits can easily be incorporated into building design.”
“Building new or renovating existing schools represents a tremendous opportunity for architects, contractors and educators to improve the indoor climate and thereby enhance the learning environment,” says Jens Christoffersen, senior researcher and PhD in the VELUX Groups’ Daylight, Energy and Indoor Comfort centre. “We know that many classrooms, offices and other indoor public areas have insufficient daylight and ventilation today and that this can negatively affect learning, productivity and health.”
The HEAD study, on which the eBook is largely based, assesses all the physical characteristics of school design that have been found to be particularly influential to learning. The researchers on the HEAD project carried out detailed surveys of 153 classrooms from 27 diverse schools and collected performance statistics for pupils studying in those spaces.
VELUX Modular skylights are fully prefabricated skylights systems for commercial buildings that makes it easy for architects to create larger daylit spaces. The provide solutions for classrooms, atriums, narrow corridors, internal courts, studios and large circulation spaces.