Impact of Classroom Plants on Students’ Comfort and Performance in UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study investigates the impact of green-wall inside a classroom on students. The aim of this study is to verify what previous studies affirmed as of a positive relationship between the existence of plants in a room and performance and psychological state. The methodology of this study was experimental. A green-wall was placed inside a classroom and indoor air parameters and thermal comfort levels were compared before and after placing the green-wall by using indoor air quality devices and locating them in the middle of the classroom. The measured factors were: TVOCs, CO2, Ozone, CO, TPM, Temperature, RH and Acoustical levels. Then, changes were done to the way of measuring the parameters by locating the devices near and far the green-wall. A survey was conducted to take students’ opinions before and after placing the green-wall. It was found that not all indoor air parameters were affected after locating the green-wall. Three main factors were changed positively; TVOCs, CO2 and Temperature levels. As for the opinion survey, responses showed a positive difference after placing the green-wall and the difference between their opinions before placing the green-wall and after placing it was significant. Furthermore student’s scores were analyzed at the end of the semester and were found a significant change between student’s marks in the green-wall classroom and other student’s scores in the basic classrooms. It was concluded that the impact on the students was more psychological than tangible as the measurements did not differ to the extent to affect indoor quality. Moreover, the researcher concluded that the amount of plants placed inside a classroom should be calculated according to three ratios: amount of plants, size of the room and the average amount of air pollution found in the space. Since the psychological impact on the student was significant, the researcher recommended that green-wall should be part of each classroom in order to improve the sense of comfort among students and more than one green-wall should be placed in each classroom to make a difference in the parameters that increase the level of comfort.
classroom plants, students’ comfort, United Arab Emirates (UAE), indoor air quality, air pollution