Environmental Psychology The Build Environment (Classrooms)


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Environmental Psychology The Build Environment (Classrooms)

  1. 1. The Built Environment (Classrooms) Presented By: Pietro Solda, Lindsay Askew, & Patricia Elgersma.
  2. 2. “You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?” W. Clement Stone
  3. 3. Presentation Outline • Effects of air quality and air movement. • Consequences of high and low temperatures. • Significance of noise levels. • Effects of lighting and natural lighting.
  4. 4. Presented By: Lindsay Askew
  5. 5. 90% 10% • On average, most Canadians spend about 90% of their time indoors, including at home, work, and for recreational activities. • Our air that we breathe contains ▫ Biological pollutants (ex. Mould, bacteria, dust mites, and allergens) and, ▫ Chemical pollutants (ex. Building materials, cleaning products, appliance materials, or material brought in from outside). What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality? Time spent inside Time spent Outside
  6. 6. Other Causes of Poor Air Quality • There are also volatile gases that can be harmful, most prominently are Radon, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and Carbon Monoxide (CO). • CO2 levels outdoors are usually around 350 ppm (parts per million). • An adult human produces between 35,000 and 50,000 ppm of CO2 with each breath. • The safe standard for a classroom is below 1000 ppm. • A lack of ventilation severely compromises the quality of air we breathe in these environments.
  7. 7. Poor Air Quality Symptoms • This poor air quality and stagnant air can lead to headaches, dizziness, congestion, fatigue, and for some individuals can aggravate asthma and allergies. • More prolonged symptoms can develop over time, including respiratory problems, coughing, wheezing, and a disorder called Sick Building Syndrome.
  8. 8. • A lot of newer homes and buildings are built to conserve energy, and keep everything locked up tight, this does not allow contaminates to escape. • Most air in buildings is re- circulated to reduce energy costs as well. • The lack of air can also create a stagnant and stuffy environment, and can especially lead to odours lingering. Construction of Buildings
  9. 9. • Proper air circulation drastically increases the quality of the air, and there are generally two techniques to filter the air: ▫ Spot Ventilation: Which removes air from a particular area (ex. Bathrooms and kitchens are most common). ▫ Dilution Ventilation: Affects the entire room, and replaces the air from inside with the air from outside. Construction of Buildings Cont’d.
  10. 10. Act and Code • Over the years, poor indoor air quality hasn’t received as much attention as it probably should. • The Canadian Environmental Protection Act has provided some regulations on biological contaminates. • The B.C. Building Code requires that buildings introduce fresh air and exhaust stale and moist air. • The most common requirements are the installation of an: ▫ Exhaust fan or a central ventilation system, and ▫ Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) Systems.
  11. 11. Presented By: Patricia Elgersma
  12. 12. Hot & Cold • Temperatures that are too hot or too cold to learn in are not conducive. • Too cold temperature inhibits attention while too warm temperature lowers arousal and can worsen sick building syndrome symptoms, as well as have a negative effect on mental performance.
  13. 13. What is The Right Temperatures • Temperatures above 22º C or below 20º C are considered to be too hot or too cold to work in ▫ Relative humidity is best at 50% • care must be taken to balance natural ventilation methods i.e. those provided by windows and student learning ▫ give overview of Wargocki & Wyon study as well as Earthman paper for an example of effects of temperature on student learning
  14. 14. Noise? • Noise defined as unwanted sound • Extremely high levels of noise can cause hearing damage (Occupational Health and Safety) • Moderate levels of noise interfere with effectiveness and ease of communication
  15. 15. Noise & Levels • Students learn best when the noise level is at approximately 40 db, any higher and they become tense. • Classroom chatter has a negative effect on the completion of verbal tasks, and environmental noise accompanied by classroom babble has a negative effect on the speed at which one processes information. (Dockrell & Shield) • Noise level also impacts recall and recognition (Hygge)
  16. 16. Presented By: Pietro Solda “Light profoundly affects our feelings of well-being, of awe and wonder of mood, of comfort, of motivation.” Louis Erhardt
  17. 17. Light & Depression • Depression is one of the most common psychological problems affecting people around the world. • Diagnosed depression was associated with a 0.49 point, or half a letter grade, decrease in student GPA (Hysenbegasi, Hass, & Rowlan, 2005, p. 145).
  18. 18. Light & Depression Cont. • Research that indicates that low levels of exposure to natural light may negatively interact with individual circadian rhythms. • There are a number of different treatment options, including light therapy, which involves the individual being exposed to bright light for up to two hours (Cassidy, 1997). • This therapy shows that light has an impact on our psychological wellbeing.
  19. 19. Light & Depression Cont. • Children situated in a classroom which lack both natural and fluorescent daylight tubes show less seasonal variation in stress hormone levels. • Student in classrooms with strong non-full spectrum lighting have an increased levels of metabolic hormones that are liked to stress. (Wellhousen & Crowther, 2004). Stress Hormones Impair Memory
  20. 20. Light and Concentration • Brightness provided by light sources, reduces the feeling of perceived crowding in rooms, which in turn should be enhanced students performance (Bell, Greene, Fisher, & Baum, 2001). • The use of indoor lighting has demonstrated that rooms with colour temperature lighting have enhanced long-term memory, problem-solving tasks and free recall (Knez, 1995).
  21. 21. Which colour light do think will reduce arousal in individuals with behaviour problems? Blue Pink Yellow Red Black
  22. 22. Light & Behaviour • Dim rooms have been show to increase unacceptable social behaviour, such as dishonesty, and selfish behaviour, which make individuals more likely to lie or cheat compared with participants in well-lit rooms (Bowman, 2010). • Introducing a pink light into a room will reduce arousal in individuals with behaviour problems and on emotionally disturbed persons (Cassidy, 1997)
  23. 23. SOLUTIONS?
  24. 24. • Based on research, the quality of air we are breathing in indoor environments can negatively impact both our short and long term health. Lack of ventilation and poor removal of harmful particulates can lead to health problems in a University classroom environment. • Working in temperatures that go above or below comfort level, and in a noisy situation that exceeds the recommended decibel level, impairs our concentration which can lead to a myriad of other problems. • Lights should be replaced with light sources that are both ‘warm white’ and ‘cool white’ to help student feel more positive about their learning environment and to further prevent problematic behaviour.
  25. 25. References • Bechtel, R. B., & Ts'erts'man, A. (2002). Handbook of Environmental Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. • Bell, P. A., Greene, T. C., Fisher, J. D., & Baum, A. (2001). Environmental Psychology (5th ed.). Orlando: Harcourt College Publishers. • Dockrell, J.E., and Shield, B.M. (2006). Acoustical barriers in classrooms: The Impact of Noise on Performance in the classroom. British Educational Research Journal, 32, 509-525. • Hygge, S. (2003). Classroom experiments on the effects of different noise sources and sound levels on long-term recall and recognition in children. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, 895-914. • Hysenbegasi, A., Hass, S. L., & Rowlan, C. R. (2005). The Impact of Depression on the Academic. Productivity of University Students. The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, 8(3), 145-151. • Jones, A.P. 2002. Chapter 3 Indoor air quality and health. Developments in Environmental Sciences, 57-115. • Kosonen. R., & Tan, F. 2004. The effect of perceived indoor air quality on productivity loss. REHVA Scientific, 981-986. • Kuller, R., & Lindsten, C. (1992). Health and Behavior of Children in Classrooms With and Without Windows. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 12(4), 305-317. • Wargocki, P., and Wyon, D.P. (2007). The Effects of Moderately Raised Classroom Temperatures and Classroom Ventilation rate on the performance of schoolwork by children. HVAC&R Research, 13, 193-220.