Here are some key design considerations for educational buildings to provide a functional and user-friendly learning environment.
Acoustics are essential for effective learning, pupil engagement and wellbeing. There is a vast amount of research that directly links productivity and focus with acoustics. Acoustics can be controlled in several ways, from demountable and flexible partitioning acting as sound barriers, acoustic fabrics, furniture and more.
A suitably qualified and experienced Acoustic Consultant must be appointed on all major projects to carry out an initial noise survey, assist with design development and check design details and on-site construction.
Collaborative spaces encourage ‘learning’, as opposed to ‘teaching’. Movements to move away from traditional rows of desks are already being made to accommodate the different working styles and activities.
Natural light and thermal comfort
There is an evident link between natural light and better concentration and wellbeing. Providing good quality natural light accompanied by good artificial light is vital for all designers.
For any educational setting, colour and flexibility are critical design considerations. It is important to have an optimum level of colour and visual interest to encourage productivity and engagement. Flexible furnishings can include desks with whiteboards, demountable partitioning and soft furnishings with multi-purposes.
COVID has accelerated many things, and the role of technology in educational settings is one of them. This includes room booking systems, online teaching platforms and remote equipment, touch-free door access to reduce the rate of bacteria transmission and more. With the speed of the evolution of technology, designers need to create spaces that are adaptable to inevitable future changes.