The purpose of a school is to create a sustainable learning habitat for pupils and teachers alike. There is plenty of evidence to show that the levels of natural light, the air quality, the acoustic properties and thermal comfort (heating and cooling) all impact on educational achievement and teacher satisfaction levels and general educational “health”.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and recent research has shown that comfort levels in buildings can greatly increase health and productivity. For example, research found that improved ventilation could boost productivity by up to 11%*, while there’s evidence that high CO2 levels cause tiredness and impact on decision making.
Nor do we lack the standards and regulations to help enforce good building practice but the risk is that we get sub-optimal results when we focus attention on any one element, such as energy efficiency/low carbon, rather than taking a ‘multi-comfort” holistic approach.
This is the thinking behind Multi-Comfort standard. Multi-Comfort builds on existing standards and best practice such as Passivhaus, but the focus is on looking at the comfort levels the building users experience and optimising the whole building habitat in a sustainable way, which includes being economically and financially sustainable over the building lifecycle.