As schools search for ways to become more energy conservative, a sustainability measure increasingly integrated into school design is the use of daylight as a primary lighting element in classrooms, gymnasiums, and even cafeterias. The practice of using day light as an internal light source is also known as daylighting. Incorporating daylighting into your school’s lighting plan not only reduces energy consumption and costs by relying on natural light, but has also been shown to improved student performance.
A 1999 study funded by the Pacific Gas & Electric Company and completed by Heschong-Mahone Group found that students get higher test scores when they learn in classrooms illuminated by daylight. This study focused on the correlation between daylight availability and test scores, and showed that natural daylighting in schools resulted in noticeable increases in student performance regardless of school design and climate.
Lighting alone accounts for 33% of a school’s energy spend. Effective daylighting can yield a 30-60% reduction in annual lighting energy consumption. Think of the other sustainability measures you could employ with these savings.
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