November 3, 2021
Schools benefit from daylighting in countless ways. Daylighting brings greater attendance and academic performance, increased student achievement, reduced stress for students and teachers, lower utility costs, reduced fatigue for students, and improved student health. Daylighting is quieter and creates no flickering lights that could distract sensitive or hyper-alert students.
By contrast, students in windowless rooms can be more hostile, maladjusted, and hesitant. In windowless classrooms, children are less interested in work. This creates a more negative environment that presents significant challenges that can interfere with student learning. Whether you’re a school administrator, architect, or designer, if you’re building a school building, it’s important to understand the effect of natural daylight in a classroom environment.
Daylight has some surprising health benefits for students and teachers. It’s already known that daylight can have health effects like reduced blood pressure and more efficient weight loss. But did you know that daylighting can promote reduced dental decay and increased student growth? It’s true! Studies show that student dental decay is reduced in daylit schools.
Daylighting can also improve student eyesight. Eyes collect and convert visible light into electrical impulses that flow through the optic nerves to the brain. Daylight provides the most useable light to the eyes and eases eye stress.
Insufficient light can impact a student’s ability to learn. The same light conditions that can cause strain on a student’s eyes can also cause a decrease in information processing, which can reduce the student’s ability to perform in school and achieve academic goals. This may be one of the reasons why schools that have better daylighting also have higher math and reading scores.
Stress impacts certain growth hormones. Persistent stress in students can stunt student growth because stress causes the body to release cortisol and ACTH, which can slow a child’s growth. Use of daylight in the classroom can reduce student stress, thus lowering levels of cortisol and ACTH in students’ bodies. This promotes a healthier physical development in students.
Schools that have more natural light show an increase in student and teacher attendance, perhaps because daylight is better for student and teacher health. Daylit schools report higher rates of attendance than schools that rely primarily on fluorescent lighting.
Four Oaks Elementary in Johnston County North Carolina was destroyed by a fire in the late 1980’s. Following the fire, students were placed in mobile classrooms until a new school was built.
Before the fire destroyed the school, student achievement scores were 7% above the county average. During the two years, students were in mobile classrooms, test scores dropped to 10% below average. In the new daylit building, student test scores increased to 9% above the county average. Four oaks experienced a 15% increase in test scores from the last year in the old building to a point in time four years later.
If students are edgy in windowless rooms, daylit rooms promote feelings of calm. Students are able to focus on work and think more clearly in daylit rooms. Even students with ADD are calmer in daylit spaces because they’re not distracted by the hum of fluorescent lights.
If you’re a school administrator hoping to capitalize on the benefits of natural daylighting in the classroom, work with a designer that specializes in daylighting and install quality skylights in your academic building. Bring a feeling of calm comfort to your classrooms with daylighting through features like skylights.
When choosing skylights for your school building, it’s important to choose models that are long-lasting and durable. VTECH skylights are made with RIM technology. Their frames are made from Aliphatic polyurethane, fused together with the LoĒ³ 366 glass to create one solid piece.
VTECH skylights never leak, and they also stand up to the most rigorous safety trials. They can support high impacts, great weight and stress from wind and fire. Installing VTECH skylights helps deliver natural daylight to your academic spaces. To learn more about installing VTECH, contact us today.