A Place in the Sun: 3 Tips for Daylighting Your New School Building

Construction & Contractors Blog

Over the years, studies have shown that students perform better in daylit rooms than they do in those which rely on artificial lighting. Among other benefits, daylight has been found to promote regulated circadian rhythm in school-age children, reducing sleep-related absences and lateness. Daylighting can also reduce the ongoing running and maintenance costs associated with artificial lighting and HVAC. Given that Australia benefits from up to 11 hours of sunshine per day, educators looking to construct new school buildings should be aiming to maximise daylighting in their architectural, structural, and electrical design. If you want to be prepared before talking to your chosen building design team, take a look at these 3 tips for daylighting your new educational facility.

1. Don't Rely on Windows

Many schools think they can get away with using regular windows as an effective daylighting tool, but this couldn't be further from the truth. While eye-level windows are important for ventilation and outdoor view, overloading walls with them can make a room hot, uncomfortable, and even overlit. When planning your daylight strategy with your designer, remember that overhead side-lighting and top-lighting need to provide the majority of your daylight. 

2. Plan for Effective Dimming

While classrooms will generally need to be well lit, there are certain circumstances under which they'll need to be dimmed. When playing an educational video to the class, for example, you will want to make the room darker to provide better viewing contrast. Mechanical blinds and curtains are the most obvious choice for blocking out daylight, and they usually work well. However, electronically-controlled blinds are even better. These blinds generally have a longer life span (as they're not being tugged on by students and teachers) and they can reduce instances of lazy or busy classes leaving the blinds closed and turning on the artificial lights.

3. Opt for a Light Colour Scheme

Light colours like white, pale grey, ivory, and other pastel hues are the best choices for a daylight school because they're more reflective than dark colours. Maximising the reflection allows you to use less daylighting and artificial lighting to achieve your lighting goals. You can incorporate these colours into the wall paint or wallpaper, flooring and ceiling, and furnishings. Make sure you discuss your colour scheme with your contractor during the design stage, however; if you choose colours after daylighting has been installed, you could end up with rooms that are too bright. 


17 November 2016

Compelling and Creative Commentary on Construction and Contractors: A Blog

Welcome! My name is Frances, and this is my first blog. Whether you found me through a Google search or were passed my link by a friend, I am so glad you found my blog. I plan to fill it with a range of commentary on the world of contracting and construction work, and I hope that you find my ideas compelling and creative. I am a dog trainer, but I have always loved the world of construction. I tend to work a lot on the weekends and evenings, when my clients are off work. As a result, I have a lot of time to write during the day, and I decided to create this blog. Thank you for reading.