At a time when the health and wellbeing of students has never been more important, the use of daylight in educational facilities can be a hugely beneficial way to maximise student performance and productivity whilst at the same time helping to lower a building’s energy use, says Brett Martin.
By introducing rooflights, including domes, vaults, pitched skylights or panel glazing systems, it is possible to deliver resilient and future-proofed educational spaces that encourage learning, concentration and positive student behaviour.
Despite the closure of schools and colleges and the disruption caused by the pandemic, children spend on average more than 7,800 hours at school throughout their education with a large amount of time in the classroom. Studies have shown that students felt at their best under rooflight or natural lighting, whilst teachers appreciate the good light transmission, good colour rendition and good behaviour demonstrated under the conditions created by rooflights.
According to The Department for Education Building Design Bulletin 90, ‘The school designer should assume that daylight will be the prime means of lighting when it is available’. With daylight considered a fundamental design criterion, rooflights can help maximise the transmission of natural light to the interior of a school.
Partnering with local authorities, architects and schools, Brett Martin has a deep understanding of the specific requirements of the education sector. Providing expert, impartial technical advice on rooflight specification, the manufacturer’s team has access to the widest choice of rooflight products available, in the full range of glazing materials. An intuitive and experienced technical team ensure compliance with Part L and help to achieve higher BREEAM ratings.
In addition to new-build construction, architects and designers refurbishing and upgrading older school buildings can reap the benefits of rooflights. Brett Martin has offered guidance and advice to specifiers wanting to transform courtyards into classrooms, provide canopies and covered walkways, replace existing rooflights and develop bespoke daylight solutions for halls and circulation areas, leisure facilities and classrooms.
Top class daylight performance
At the Tauheedul Islam Boys High School in Blackburn, a range of rooflight solutions from Brett Martin are helping to deliver exceptional levels of daylight into the school and sports hall whilst reducing demand for electric lighting, lowering CO2 emissions and running costs.
Built by Wates Construction, the three-storey secondary school in Blackburn serves approximately 800 students. With the school refectory requiring a natural light source to optimise internal environment conditions, the Marvault system provided the optimum combination of light transmission, UV protection and thermal performance, whilst having a positive impact on students’ wellbeing. For the sports hall, a specialist high performance glass was required which led to the specification of Glass Link modular rooflights. This flat glass rooflight system maximises daylight through large glazed areas and minimal framework, meeting the requirement for high light transmission and thermal performance.
Brett Martin not only designs a wide range of systems to deliver optimum performance, durability, safety and adherence to regulations and standards — it provides technical support, detailed installation instructions and maintenance guidelines to ensure systems perform as promised and work alongside all other roofing elements.
The specification and installation of the Marvault and Glass Link rooflights at Tauheedul Islam Boys High School flood the communal areas and sports hall with high quality natural daylight and are playing a crucial role in both the aesthetic and thermal performance of the school.
1 Heschong-Mahone Group (1999).Daylight in Schools: An Investigation into the Relationship between Daylighting and Human Performance. Detailed Report. Fair Oaks, CA: Heschong-Mahone Group
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