Space for Learning

The Coach House Education Centre at Orleans House Gallery has a wall of glass doors and a glass canopy to maximise solar gain, with wooden doors that can be used to manage the amount of shading on warm days Photo Patel Taylor Architectural Practice

Heating & ventilation

The ability to control the temperature in a space is important to learning, as is ventilation to ensure good air quality.

Evidence suggests that high levels of CO2 in classrooms are detrimental to children’s attainment and increase the number of sick days taken by teachers. Plan for good ventilation, and ideally have windows you can open. If this is not possible, plan how you will circulate air.

In new-builds the design should enable sufficient cooling through good design, insulation and passive cooling systems that produce natural enhanced airflow. For renovations, it is a question of working with what is already in place; but in both cases every opportunity should be taken to find the most energyefficient solution.

How you will maintain a comfortable temperature in your room(s) is an important consideration. Thermal comfort is achieved at between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.

Where possible, have your learning space(s) on a separate heating control from the rest of the site, so that when the rooms are in use with lots of warm bodies heating up the space, there is a way to regulate the temperature.

Consider what directions the windows face. If they are south-facing you need to bear in mind the impact of solar gain, how sunshine will heat up your rooms, and how you will shade your windows.