Space has an emotional, social and pedagogical impact that must be considered when designing an ideal learning environment.
— Colleen Ferguson


  1. Safety standards are met or exceeded:
    • provide for the ability to communicate outside the classroom for safety purposes
      • window in door
      • phone/intercom

  2. Environmental health considered in design:
    • asbestos-free or asbestos-safe
    • mold-free
    • no PCBs in old caulking, no lead in old paint, no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in furnishings, etc.
    • built and furnished to resist pests so the space can be pesticide-free
      • integrated (non-toxic) pest management, if necessary
    • built and furnished to allow non-toxic cleaning materials and methods
    • indoor air quality monitored

  3. Classroom is designed for comfort and stress reduction
    • humanely designed with no sense of physical or psychological crowding
    • adequately sized and designed for student and teacher comfort
    • perceived to be airy and spacious
    • minimum 25 sq ft per student recommended to provide "low density"
    • adequate space between desks or individual work spaces, space for book bags
    • "traffic" into, out of, and within classroom considered in design
    • accessible for students with physical disabilities
    • ergonomically designed furnishings (desks, chairs, counters, computer stations) that are adjustable so that every student has his or her desk at the right height when his or her feet are on the floor


  4. Each classroom should have the potential to be a work of art
    • room for art on the walls (improves student performance on word tasks)
    • any heritage aspects to be preserved?
    • ensure the classroom is "homey" (ie, resembling more a home than a prison)
    • does the classroom have the potential to make students (and teachers) feel happy? (do they want to learn/teach here?)

  5. Other
    • minimum 900 sq ft per class of 25 students recommended to provide "low density"
    • a small living wall in each classroom
    • source of drinking water in each classroom (using high efficiency plumbing fixtures), if possible
    • consider providing one ECO (environmentally controlled opportunity) classroom in the school for environmentally sensitive students

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