Research shows that varied light zones help support different activities, and can contribute to improved concentration in an educational environment. However, there is no research that combines light and noise level in a classroom.
Therefore, PhD fellow Imke Wies van Mil and Sustainability Engineer Anne Iversen have taken the initiative to research whether the use of focused light in a classroom can positively affect energy consumption, as well as improve the students’ conditions for focused work.
“We know that light is important to the students’ learning process and concentration. Now we are taking it one step further, by researching whether certain types of light have a pronounced effect on the students’ behavior,” Imke Wies van Mil explains.
The experiment will take place at the new Frederiksbjerg School in Aarhus, which Henning Larsen has designed in cooperation with GPP Architects. The new elementary school is based on the idea of differentiated education, with a theoretical background in varied spaces, flexible teaching environments and a large amount of daylight. The research project will add another variable in the form of artificial lighting.
“We expect the results to form evidence for the fact that conscious work with lighting can create natural zones for concentration and lower the noise level in a large classroom with many activities. Furthermore, we hope to prove that focused lighting also creates spending cuts on energy consumption, as we avoid wasting light where it is not needed,” Imke Wies van Mil elaborates.
The research project compares three lighting concepts in four classrooms with the same level of natural light over an eight-week period. The researchers will study the students’ behavior and conduct interviews with teachers, based on their experience with each lighting concept. Finally, the students’ concentration abilities will be tested with simple math and reading assignments.
The project is conducted in cooperation with Henning Larsen, Aarhus Municipality, Frederiksbjerg School, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Technical University of Denmark, Sweco, Aarhus University, Fagerhult and Danish Center for Educational Environments. The project is funded by Elforsk.