Extending Benefits by Design

Time: 16:00 - 17:00

Date: 21-Nov-2018


The importance of acoustics for collaborative learning spaces – an international perspective: Shane Cryer, Saint-Gobain Ecophon AB

The Importance of good acoustics is being increasingly recognised; Studies have shown that
teacher and student working environments, associated behaviour and management are related to acoustic quality, especially regarding inclusion.

There is also an ongoing pedagogic evolution worldwide, around innovative learning environments. Involving supporting teacher change, highlighting changes from traditional teacher lead to student centered learning activities, to encourage teacher and student collaboration and engagement. This change; traditional to diversified teaching often leads to high noise levels, which has proven to increase stress and reduction of concentration.

To provide the acoustic conditions supporting effective teaching and learning requires control of sound levels, speech intelligibility, speech privacy between spaces and control of indoor ambient noise.

Good practice European examples are referenced which support these evolving pedagogic approaches. Assessing specifically their acoustic data and the relevant acoustic parameters and regulations, plus how these spaces are perceived by the teachers and students.

In general, the open learning spaces are perceived as noisy. We believe that in order to create effective open learning spaces, an activity based acoustic design approach is needed so future learning environments can make the necessary design and user considerations to support sustainable learning outcomes, health and well-being of all occupants.

Energy, Fresh Air and Daylight: Ian van Duivenbode, Ramboll

A new Scottish school is embracing “world-first” research and trials to drive best practice in realising benefits in this critical aspect of environmental design. Queensferry High School has received Scottish Futures Trust funding to assess options for design innovations in energy consumption, but also real benefits to the internal environment – essentially fresh air and daylight – to enhance educational outcomes.

Energy performance is a key issue in education buildings, from both cost and environmental perspectives.

“Traditional” factors of fresh air and daylight clearly impact upon the learning environment, and student/pupil performance.

£1.2m has now been provided to the project to test the proposals on the new Queensferry High School, evaluate and communicate the resulting conclusions and drive best practice. Ian van Duivenbode, Senior Engineer, at Ramboll has led the study, with input from the latest developments in the UK and from Europe; and will be presenting on the aims and outcomes of this exciting project; and its lessons for both education and construction.

The visual identity of learning spaces: making schools easier to use for all learners Lucy Richards, StudioLR

Lucy will share her thinking behind the power of visual identity integrated with school environments to create positive outcomes for learners. A presentation packed with visual stimulus to inspire discussion around what can be done better to humanise the design of schools.

The presentation will reference: the importance of co-design with learners; accessible visual language for varying cognitive abilities; improving learning outcomes by increasing daily activity; and visual identity integrated with school environments to reinforce the value of feelings and acceptance.



  • Richard Teed Senior Forward Planning Officer - Falkirk Children’s Services

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