October 1, 2019

Eneref Institute examines the importance of the new well building standard for daylight in classroom design

“School planners have an opportunity to design lighting that supports alertness, mood and cognitive functions.” — Eneref Report

Classrooms Optimized With Natural Daylight Increase Student Performance

Optimizing daylight as a light source in school buildings improves students’ academic performance. Daylight drives natural circadian rhythms of hormones, organs, tissues and the sleep-wake cycle. School planners have an opportunity to design lighting that supports alertness, mood and cognitive functions.

Many recent research discoveries should compel schools to specify natural interior daylight as a primary light source in classrooms, as advised by the WELL Building Standard. In 2012, the American Medical Association adopted a policy statement citing evidence that links circadian rhythm disruption to impacts on human health. To maintain properly syn- chronized circadian rhythms, the body requires periods of both brightness and darkness. Improper lighting design can lead to a drift of the circadian phase by altering the light-dark cycles to which our bodies are exposed.

Right to Daylight, Wellness for Schools