Daylighting Linked to Student Performance

Although the common-sense premise has long been that exposure to daylight is related to successful student performance in the classroom, few scientific studies scientifically prove this. Consequently, in an effort to promote daylighting and energy efficiency, the California Energy Commission—on behalf of the New Buildings Institute—recently commissioned a study of daylighting and human performance conducted by the Fair Oaks, Calif.-based consulting firm, Heschong Mahone Group.

07/10/2002


Although the common-sense premise has long been that exposure to daylight is related to successful student performance in the classroom, few scientific studies scientifically prove this. Consequently, in an effort to promote daylighting and energy efficiency, the California Energy Commission—on behalf of the New Buildings Institute—recently commissioned a study of daylighting and human performance.

The results of the study, conducted by the Fair Oaks, Calif.-based consulting firm Heschong Mahone Group, were not surprising. In a California school district, students in classrooms with ample daylighting progressed at a rate of 26% faster in reading and 20% in math as compared to students in classrooms with less daylighting.

"If the link between increased daylight and improved human performance holds true with additional studies, it strongly suggests that we should act to reverse our current building trends that are reducing the presence of daylight in the workplace," said Lisa Heschong, a partner with the consulting firm, as quoted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.

In all, the firm studied 20,000 elementary school students in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., Fort Collins, Colo. and Seattle.

To view the full report, "Daylighting in Schools," visit the New Buildings Institute web site at: www.newbuildings.org/pier .





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