A new study has found a link between the quality of indoor learning environments and student absenteeism.
The University of Melbourne’s 2016 Towards Buildings That Thrive report found that students with asthma miss on average three more school days per year than children without asthma and have an increased risk of suffering a learning disability or behavioral issues.
This highlights the need to provide quality indoor air in classrooms. Combined with the necessity to manage financial costs and to increase substantially, this gives rise to the effective design of heat recovery equipment for educational institutions.
In this report by the University of Melbourne’s Thrive Research Hub, a case study on Schools indicates that air quality, thermal comfort, acoustic performance, and the presence of microbes can affect the health and well-being of students.
Receiving an education inside schools with poor Indoor Air Quality can be particularly challenging for children compared with adults (Faustman et al., 2000; Landrigan, 1998; WHO, 2006). Children are in a dynamic state of growth where environmental contaminants can cause irreversible damage to their nervous, immune, respiratory, endocrine, and reproductive and digestive systems. Children have a higher risk of being exposed to contaminants as they spend long periods of time closer to the ground – where most contaminants will settle.
In a report about Equity and Quality in Education, the OECD (2012) highlights that educational failure can impose a high cost on both the individual and society. There is a high likelihood of fewer life prospects for students once adults, who miss out on developing the knowledge and skills that come with gaining an education. To address these concerns and create school environments that are more susceptible to learning, student engagement and improved student health, classroom design must be based on well-considered design choices that align with their function and consider the unique needs and characteristics of growing bodies.
Well designed learning spaces with sustainable materials and a quality energy recovery ventilation system enabling efficient air conditioning.