Pupils At A School Raising Hands To Answer Question

Kids are in school to learn, play and grow. Providing a healthy environment that benefits learning is vital to ensuring this development. Many schools are older buildings that are in need of renovation, and face challenges that include managing noise levels, improving indoor air quality, and providing for a comfortable environment over different seasons.

Renovating the learning environments in society is the responsibility of administrators and policymakers. Investing in the health and wellness of future generations starts with providing improved learning spaces for today’s students. This is possible using modern technologies like stone wool insulation during a renovation project to increase resilience and sustainability.

Relevant applications

Addressing concerns about noise pollution

Noise has direct impacts on our health. The human ear is always tuning in to different sounds and any elevated levels will penetrate the consciousness of a student. In schools, poor acoustics can cause:

  • Reduced academic performance - Elevated ambient sounds generated by indoor support systems (i.e. HVAC), other student activities, and outdoor noise pollution.
  • Lower test results - An increase of 10dB in ambient noise levels can reduce math and language scores by as much as 5.5 points on average as noticed in one study on French students.
  • Reduced speech intelligibility and retention - In schools with no sound absorption, up to 70 percent of the consonants spoken by teachers cannot be heard by pupils.
  • Long-term health effects - Excessive noise levels can create stress, sleep disturbance, higher blood pressure, and hearing loss.

It is estimated that better acoustics in schools can improve the educational performance of children by 3-6 percent. For academic institutions, renovating to improve acoustics can help their students to increase concentration levels, improve their long-term health, and ensure speech comprehension in every classroom.

Improving the indoor comfort for students

Better insulation can help schools and academic institutions manage the indoor climate effectively. By renovating to maintain the indoor comfort levels in schools, administrators and faculty will notice an improvement in their students’ performance.

A one degree change in temperature can reduce academic performance by 0.2 percent. While colder environments tend to improve concentration, once it exceeds a comfortable level, it will create a negative effect on student performance.

Some of the performance issues include:

  • Reduced attendance from students who develop symptoms affecting their health.
  • Limited attention spans of students who receive their education in cold or hot environments.
  • Increased risk of long-term health implications due to mould and damp caused by the combination of poor temperature control and humidity.

It is estimated that optimising students’ indoor comfort could improve academic performance by up to 8 percent. This involves maintaining a stable, comfortable temperature and humidity within classrooms and common areas. Using stone wool insulation to improve indoor climates can help schools create environments conducive to learning. Renovating schools to achieve a healthy indoor environment will ensure today’s students are healthy and can contribute to society going forward, making it a sustainable initiative that invests in future generations.

Maximising the use of natural light

Daylighting is a new approach to improving the health and wellbeing of people who spend the majority of their day indoors. The concept is based around maximising natural sunlight through the placement of windows and the use of reflective surfaces. Students especially need solutions that maximise their exposure to natural light while remaining inside a building for extended periods.

Natural light can help students by:

  • Improving their alertness and concentration levels.
  • Receiving natural light during the day will help students sleep better at night.
  • Providing a better educational experience, which raises moods and helps with attendance levels.

Rockfon ceiling tiles and panels reflect up to 86% of available light dispersing sunlight more easily. Not only does this help increase natural lighting, it also helps diffuse light more effectively and limits glare.

Using the reflective properties, Rockfon ceiling tiles can enable schools to maximise the use of natural light in their environments. When choosing what solutions to use for a school renovation project, stone wool materials provide superior performance and long-term sustainability.

Fire safety

Every child has the right to feel safe at school – and this includes feeling safe from potential fires. In the UK alone, it is estimated that the education of 90,000 children is disrupted by school fires each year, with one in eight schools suffering a serious arson attack and 75 per cent of school fires being caused maliciously. Not only do these fires put the safety of the students at risk, the resulting damage can affect exam results, mean temporary accommodation is needed – and no insurance can replace lost school work and lost school days.

Stone wool insulation is a key component to helping school become fire-resilient, as the stone wool fibres are inherently non-combustible and can resist temperatures above 1,000º C. This is crucial to containing a fire locally and securing that a fire in a building will not become a building on fire.  And with minimal organic content, ROCKWOOL insulation will not produce any significant toxic smoke.

For schools and educational institutions, the safety and long-term health of students is a primary concern. Renovation projects that improve the climate and acoustics of a school building provide greater benefits to society as a whole.

Additional benefits from school building renovations include:

  • Increased academic performance from students within a comfortable environment.
  • Reduced operational costs by using thermal and energy-efficient solutions.
  • Decreased rate of distraction, greater information retention, and limiting the long-term health effects of noise pollution.
  • Schools can also reduce their emissions and energy consumption, helping them to reduce their impact on the environment and operating costs at the same time.
FI, Metropolian Myyrmäen kampus , Vantaa, Kirsti Sivén & Asko Takala Arkkitehdit Oy, Education, Rockfon Color-all, 600x600, Charcoal, Kitchen, Canteen

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