Is it possible to design a classroom that measurably improves academic performance? With the emergence of evidence-based design this is indeed possible. Evidence-based design is the process of basing decisions about the built environment on credible research to achieve the best possible outcomes. Evidence-based design first emerged in the design of health care facilities. The result of measuring the influence of various design factors on patient outcomes has considerably altered the design of hospitals and other medical facilities over the past several years.
Evidence-based design is increasingly focusing on educational facilities and is an emerging influence on the design of schools. Particularly intriguing are studies that correlate certain aspects of learning environments with academic performance. Evidence-based design has also investigated other measurable outcomes including improved student attendance, reduced disciplinary problems, and better faculty retention.
Focusing on classroom interiors, several studies over the past several years establish links between specific design characteristics and academic performance. Importantly, each of these design characteristics can be readily implemented in both new and modernized schools.