Greener School Buildings

Green Schools: Information Resources for Facility Managers

By Helen Kessler  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Integrated Design Is Essential for LEED for SchoolsPt. 2: LEED for Schools Targets Acoustics, IAQ and LightingPt. 3: From LEED for Schools: Tips on Green Design and Construction for Facility ManagersPt. 4: This Page

Research Shows Greener School Buildings Can Have Impact

The U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools and McGraw Hill Research Foundation recently published a white paper entitled "The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance: A Call for Research." The white paper summarizes existing research and calls for further research on the link between green building strategies and student and teacher performance within those schools. The white paper cites "clear evidence that certain aspects of school buildings have an impact on student health and learning." That evidence includes:

  • When deprived of natural light, studies have shown that children's melatonin cycles are disrupted, thus likely having an impact on their alertness during school.
  • Teachers report higher levels of comfort in their classrooms when they have access to thermal controls like thermostats or operable windows.
  • According to researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories, when ventilation rates are at or below minimum standards (roughly 15 cfm per student), an associated decrease of 5 to 10 percent occurs in certain aspects of student performance tests.
  • In recent studies, when ventilation rates were lowered from 17 cfm/person to 10 cfm/person, researchers saw a 15 percent increase in symptom prevalence for Sick Building Syndrome.

To read the white paper at USGBC's website, visit: bit.ly/x3zEFB

For More Information

>>> An important resource on acoustics is the Quiet Classroom Library at bit.ly/QCLLib.

>>> The California Department of Public Health standard for emissions standards: bit.ly/CDPHstandard

>>> The U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools: bit.ly/USGBCschools

>>> LEED for Schools: bit.ly/LEEDschools

>>> More information on the green school projects may be found at the Chicago Public Building Commission website: bit.ly/CHIschools

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  posted on 4/11/2012   Article Use Policy

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