Creating sustainable educational spaces is an enormous part of creating engaging learning environments. Many schools now incorporate sustainability into the curriculum and between 2015 and 2018 student interest in sustainability related degrees tripled.

Education itself represents one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development goals, with improving access to quality education as its main objective. Additionally, Education plays a unique role in creating a sustainable future as it is tasked to integrate sustainable development into its curricula not so much as a separate field, but an overarching principle and a fundamental approach to sciences and popular fields of study like business, technology, architecture, engineering, policy making and many more.

Light can be an enormous enabling factor for improving the learning experience whilst ensuring that schools and universities can run their estate with lower energy consumption whilst being more mindful about how and when we utilise the required light levels for effective lighting. When we teach our children to take care of the environment, it’s usually action that speaks louder than words. Our NightTune technology is strongly focused on ecology. It reduces light pollution, ensuring there is minimal impact on nocturnal wildlife in spaces where illumination is required for safety. Illuminating the grounds and outdoor spaces surrounding primary schools for example, is a key element to lighting learning environments. The right light can support after school activities, protect night skies and preserve local wildlife, as well as being a critical element for security when the school is unoccupied.

Well designed lighting schemes, including intelligent control solutions for schools and universities can really help achieve and enhance the environmental and educational aspirations of learning environments. Irrespective of the solution that best suits a space, we offer ISO accredited, high quality EPDs which can help you understand the sustainability factors of the lighting solutions being utilised prior to installation.

In educational environments, whether that's nurseries, schools or universities, wellbeing is one of the most important pillars of all decisions made in that setting. So when a building is being developed, or a refurbishment is taking place, the comfort and health of end users must be considered carefully. Thorn offers luminaires and technologies that support these needs. As an example, Thorn’s Arena Symphony suspended indoor luminaire is innovative in that it has sound absorbing features to minimise sound reverberation in classrooms. Meanwhile, our IQ Wave, a surface mounted or suspended luminaire uses clever optics which provide excellent uniformity and glare control. It also delivers direct/indirect illuminance on faces and walls, which encourages a comfortable working environment.

Another significant factor for schools, universities and other educational settings is climate action. Not only are these spaces used to teach future generations about the responsibilities and implications of climate change, the organisations need to take action themselves. This could be by conserving energy, switching to alternative energy sources or taking steps towards carbon neutrality. Through Thorn's own sustainability goals, we are able to help others reach their targets.

To find out how we can help, read the Kettering Science Academy case study here where, among others, Thorn's Chalice luminaire was chosen for its energy efficiency properties, including a high efficacy of 106lm/W.

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