Wellbeing, health and comfort are moving up the agenda in terms of construction and building management.
In turn, schools too are now beginning to be seen as much more than just a place where teaching and learning happens, and more as a part of the solution itself: an effective, positive learning environment where the very fabric of the building and the features within it can contribute to the students’ success.
Comfort in class
Basic human conditions and the environment we are in play a huge part in how much we can physically concentrate. Being hungry, overtired or the room being too light, dark, hot or cold can seriously affect how much attention we can pay and how much information we can process.
Thermal comfort plays an extremely important role in our ability to concentrate. Being too hot or cold seriously impairs our comfort level and can distract us from being able to focus on anything else – our human instincts guide us to redress the balance and adjust our temperature to ‘just right’.
In schools, this mismatched comfort can lead to less concentration, disruption and ultimately, a lack of effective learning. In terms of the educational environment, choosing the right solution to suit the age group of the students and the space and layout of the room is crucial.
Lighting up young minds
Another important consideration in creating the ideal learning environment is light. A University of Cambridge study presented at the British Educational Research Association in 2007 showed that if classrooms were too bright, students developed headaches and other symptoms which prevented them from concentrating in class. Flickering fluorescent panels were found to be not only too bright but also a source of distraction and discomfort for classroom occupants.
Zehnder’s integrated Multi-service ‘Foil’ solution, which combines heating and cooling, lighting and acoustics all in one panel – is ideal for smaller learning spaces including classrooms.
And for sports halls and large commercial spaces, Zehnder has combined radiant ceiling panels and LED technology to bring heating and lighting together, to provide an integrated solution from a single source.
Launched in August 2020 the Zehnder ZFP radiant ceiling panel uses infrared radiation while the LED 2.0 uses light – both systems transmit energy in the form of radiation.
Combining LED 2.0 lighting with radiant ceiling panels optimises the available space on the ceiling while ensuring pupils and teachers are in a comfortable environment, which is critical to helping people to reach their full potential.