SAFETY, COMFORT and AESTHETIC ELEMENTS
Space has an emotional, social and pedagogical impact that must be considered when designing an ideal learning environment.
— Colleen Ferguson
BASELINE CRITERIA FOR SAFETY, COMFORT AND AESTHETIC ELEMENTS
- Safety standards are met or exceeded:
- provide for the ability to communicate outside the classroom for safety purposes
- window in door
- Environmental health considered in design:
- asbestos-free or asbestos-safe
- 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
- 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 challenges
- ergonomically designed furnishings (desks, chairs, counters, computer stations) that are adjustable so that all students have their desk at the right height when their feet are on the floor
- 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?)
- minimum 900 sq ft per class of 25 students recommended to provide "low density"
- a small
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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