Daylighting provides a number of outstanding benefits for schools and colleges. Not only does daylighting allow schools to save money on lighting utilities, natural light has repeatedly been shown to improve student’s performance and wellbeing. There are a number of different options for schools looking to incorporate more daylight into their structures. Here we look at some of the examples of daylighting in schools and how daylighting benefits both organizations and students.
Benefits of Daylighting for Schools
One of the greatest benefits that daylighting provides to schools is the saving on electricity usage. This benefits not only the school budget, but the environment as well. The U.S. Department of Education reports that $8 billion worth of energy is used each year in American schools, and lighting accounts for 26% of this. Using daylighting to diminish or eliminate the need for electric lighting can help individual schools, and American schools overall, save an outstanding amount on energy usage.
Utilizing daylight as a lighting source in schools conserves energy, and helps protect the environment too. This allows children to learn and grow in an atmosphere that supports and respects nature and the unique environmental concerns we have today.
Benefits of Daylighting for Students
Countless studies have proven just how much students thrive under the influence of natural light. A large amount of research has been done regarding how children’s test scores, class performance and school attendance improves when classrooms have daylighting. In one study, children in daylit classrooms progressed between 20-25% faster on math and reading tests than students in non-daylit classrooms.
Daylighting also promotes student health, which means less days off school, and better performance in class. Sunlight stimulates healthy eye development and Vitamin D production, and helps to promote normal sleep patterns, good mood, concentration and decreased depression.
There are a number of different ways to incorporate more daylight in schools. The
most obvious method is to add more windows, or to keep shutters or curtains drawn. However, for some classrooms, increasing the impact of windows may not be practical. Windows may not be built into the classroom, or the window size or quantity may be insufficient. Open windows can also cause sun glare, and diminish the efficiency of air-conditioning or heating. Depending on whether they’re open or closed, windows may also be unsuitable for classes with small children.
Traditional skylights provide another option, but also come with some of the disadvantages of windows, such as causing infiltration of sun glare and affecting heating and cooling systems. However, they can be a useful choice for incorporating additional sunlight into class rooms with few or no windows.
Tube skylights provide the benefits of daylighting for schools while balancing the drawbacks. Solar tubes filter sunlight to reduce glare and heat gain. Tube skylights also don’t affect insulation so that the effects of heating and cooling are retained. Unlike windows, tube skylights don’t allow a view outside. However, Solatubes do provide the energy saving and performance boosting powers of sunlight that are so beneficial to both schools and students.
By incorporating daylighting sources such as windows, traditional skylights or tube skylights in a school or college, students can reach better levels of performance while the energy savings benefit both the schools and the environment.