Designing quality learning spaces

Access the latest version of the requirements, and contact information for any questions or clarifications.


Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Building Scientist
  • Designers
  • Project Managers
  • Property Managers
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Boards
  • Proprietors

Design teams and project managers are required to comply with the DQLS Requirements.

About the requirements

The Designing Quality Learning Spaces (DQLS) series provides the requirements for the main internal environmental quality factors: acoustics, lighting and visual comfort, indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

The DQLS documents have been developed to provide technical requirements that assist architects, designers and engineers in creating quality learning environments that are fit for purpose.

The DQLS requirements apply to:

  • All ‘new-build’ structures including extensions
  • Prefabricated and new contracts for modular buildings
  • Refurbishments of existing school buildings, including significant alterations.

A design team must ensure that any new learning space design complies with the DQLS requirements and upgrades should meet the requirements as near as practical.

Complying with the DQLS Requirements is mandatory.

Download the DQLS Requirements

Ensure you are using the latest version of the document by directly downloading the document from the link below.



Acoustics (V3.0 2020)  [PDF, 5 MB]

DQLS Overview — Acoustics (2020) [PDF, 602 KB]

Lighting and Visual Comfort


Lighting and Visual Comfort (V2.1 2020) [PDF, 7.9 MB]

DQLS Overview — Lighting (2020) [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Rationale for Daylighting Requirements [PDF, 3.6 MB]

Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort 

Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort (V.2.0 2022). [PDF, 4.4 MB]

DQLS Overview – Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort (V.2.0 2022).  [PDF, 863 KB]

Window Replacement Requirements in Existing Buildings [PDF, 502 KB]




IEQ Design Report Template - V2.1 July 2023 [DOCX, 2.1 MB]

IEQ Design Report Example - V2.1 July 2023 [DOCX, 2.8 MB]

  • A design team must use this report to show compliance with the DQLS mandatory requirements.

Daylight Calculator Tool [XLSX, 2.2 MB]

  • A design team must use this calculator to provide supporting calculations for simple building forms.

LCCA Heating and Cooling Calculator Tool [XLSX, 1011 KB]

  • A design team must use this calculator to provide supporting calculations for indoor air quality and thermal comfort.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [PDF, 181 KB]

  • This provides information on FAQ such as the application of the requirements to refurbishments. 


Feedback and future amendments

The Ministry is constantly seeking to improve the content and usability of its documents.

If anything in this document requires clarification, or if you would like to provide feedback, please contact the Ministry at

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