New Studies Will Help Show Benefits of Green Schools

October 08, 2008

By Rochelle Davis, Founding Executive Director

I was very pleased to see that the U.S. Green Building Council made three generous grants to increase our understanding of how green schools can improve student health and learning.

One of the grants will study the effect of daylight and electrical lighting on student alertness, performance and well-being. 

The second grant will allow a team from New York — which includes the Department of Public Health, the U.S. Department of Education, United Teachers, Asthma Initiative for New York State and the Bureau of Occupational Health  — to study the effects of green building attributes on the health and performance of students and teachers.

The third grant looks at the relationship between classroom ventilation and student performance on standardized tests schools and will try to quantify the association of ventilation rates with absenteeism, in order to estimate the costs and benefits of changing ventilation standards. 

We will be looking forward to the results of these studies. 

In the meantime, the evidence that already exists clearly shows the benefits of green buildings.  According to the U.S. Green Building Council, an analysis of LEED-certified schools showed that the campuses reduced energy consumption by 33 percent, cut water use by 32 percent and slashed production of solid waste by 74 percent when compared to traditional school buildings. I was very excited to learn that almost 1,000 schools have already been LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council or are in the process of seeking certification. This is good news for students and staff.

To learn more, check out these updates from the U.S. Green Building Council:

www.greenerbuildings.com/news/2008/09/11/school-research-wins-big-USGBC-grants

www.greenerbuildings.com/news/2008/08/29/big-growth-spurt-us-schools-going-green