Daylighting for Schools
Natural Light Improves Student Performance
Daylighting in schools has been proven to significantly increase students’ test scores and promote better health and physical development.
An extensive study conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group analyzed the test scores of more than 21,000 students in three school districts in California, Washington, and Colorado. The study showed that students with the most daylighting in their classrooms progressed 20% faster on math tests and 26% faster on reading tests when compared to students in the least daylit classrooms. (Heschong Mahone Group, “Daylighting in Schools” Report at www.h-w-g.com, 1999).
Another study conducted in North Carolina compared the test scores for over 1,200 students in daylit schools to the test scores of students in the county as a whole. Findings showed that students who attended daylit schools outperformed the students in non-daylit schools by 5%-14%. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory Report, ” Daylighting in Schools: Improving Student Performance and Health at a Price Schools can Afford” 2000).
Two other studies suggest that daylighting in classrooms positively affects student health and physical development. Researchers in Sweden concluded that, “work in classrooms without daylight may upset the basic hormone pattern and this in turn may influence the children’s ability to concentrate or cooperate, and also eventually have an impact on annual body growth and absenteeism.” (National Renewable Energy Laboratory Report, “Daylighting in Schools: Improving Student Performance and Health at a Price Schools can Afford” 2000).