The environment is everything around you – the ground that you are standing on, the trees that you sit under to shade you, the water that you swim in and clean with and the air that you breathe. For schools, students spend most of their time in certain inside space. Lighting is one of the most important elements of evaluating the school environment. Let's start have a discussion of the questions listed below:
What you are auditing?
You will be measuring the amount of light in various areas around the school.
How do you do it?
In many Australian schools, lights are left on even though they may have an excellent supply of natural lighting. Even if natural lighting is lacking the amount of light produced by classroom lights might exceed the suggested light levels according to Australian Standard AS 1680 as shown in the table below. If a reading is 50 Lux above standard the room can be considered over illuminated and wasting energy. However it is recommended that rooms are not more than 50 Lux below standard as even though this may save energy other sustainability issue come into play such as health and safety. With a combination of natural and generated light the levels in an area should be within 20 Lux of the standard.
What you are auditing?
- To conduct this audit you will need access to a light meter. - In your Eco’tude journal draw a table similar to the one below. - Decide which classroom you wish to test. - You may wish to measure the light level in the rooms under different conditions which may include: · Different times of the day (eg morning versus afternoon) · Lights on versus lights off (to determine the amount of natural light) · Curtains open or closed Add an extra column to the table where necessary - Note in your journal the weather conditions outside as a cloudy winters day produces much less natural light than a sunny clear summers day - For each area make comments about the condition of the room and its current use of lighting (perhaps a particular class has only half the lights on during sunny afternoons). - After completing the audit you can recommend to increase or decrease the light levels. - Note your thoughts in your Eco’tude journal on how the illumination at your school should be improved. Will you make any recommendations to the school.Area Light Level (LUX) Suggested Light Level (LUX) Increase or decrease Comments Entrance Areas, Waiting Rooms 160 Classroom 240 Specialist Classrooms, eg TAS, computer room 400 Hall, Gyms – general use 80 Hall, gyms – exam us 400 Corridors 80 Offices 400 Storeroom 80-160 Toilet 80 Librar 240-400 Cantee 400