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A new version of Lighting Guide 5 from the Society of Light and Lighting takes on board major changes in the needs of educational environments, writes Iain Macrae

he 1991 guide to lighting in educational establishments was clearly well out of date by the time a review of the document was initiated

in the late 2000s. In the intervening period, building design and teaching practice had changed considerably – indeed, teaching now encompassed interactive learning, group work, practicals and e-media. The review also had to take on board

the UK government’s policy agenda, which at the time was full steam into a massive school building programme, with new financing and a drive to reduce carbon. This entailed a push towards daylight strategies, lighting controls and efficient electric lighting. In addition, the education sector needed a

vehicle to update its own lighting guidance without investing too much resource, as the Lighting Building Bulletins were also very much out of date. The new guide had to solve both lighting and energy concerns, while still providing a good environment to learn in. A major priority of the revisions had to

be the changes in teaching styles. The recently published Lighting Guide 5: Lighting for Education (LG5) from the Society of Light and Lighting sets out to cover any space where learning takes place – no small task in itself, as learning spaces appear in schools, further education, higher education, offices, hotels and healthcare buildings. Teaching within a building can take place

anywhere, from corridors to sports halls to drama studios. Outdoor learning is also common. The new guide focuses on these types of spaces, leaving the non-teaching spaces to the other guides and the SLL Code for Lighting. Changes in European

28 CIBSE Journal June 2011

standards also had to be taken on board. In addition, research into daylight has established a link between high levels of daylight and learning achievement. The new guide recognises that learning

takes place by communication between people, from written texts and pictures, and from interaction with objects and technology. It therefore challenges horizontal illuminance and simple uniformity, and introduces cylindrical illuminance and a modelling index – measures more useful for facial recognition. This enables better communication for all,

including those with hearing impediments who need to lip read. LG5 also balances the need to control

glare. More light to the face can mean higher glare, often a concern in display screens, but research into new screen technology indicated that new thinking was needed here, too. It is now well recognised, of course, that we perform better and stay more alert when exposed to good levels of daylight. At the same time, control is also important to avoid glare and solar gain. A focus on good daylight design can

also, of course, lead to savings in energy use. In addition, such a focus can enhance health and well-being for students and help them achieve higher levels of attention and educational attainment. It should be no surprise, therefore, that daylight design comes first on the guide’s priorities for building designers. LG5 reflects the widely held view in

the sector that clients should employ a professional lighting designer, and employ them early, even before the point that the architecture is massed and orientated. Then keep them on the team throughout the

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