Better Places for People - Research on Health, Wellbeing and Performance in Green Schools

Wednesday 29th November 2017

Since 2014, WorldGBC and our Green Building Councils have been leading the way on communicating the benefits of green buildings to people through our Better Places for People project. Our work on offices, retail and residential buildings has pushed the market to better incorporate the economic benefits green buildings provide to people into the business case for green buildings.

While the above work has focused on how adults typically experience buildings, we wanted to provide additional resources on the topic of health, wellbeing and productivity in schools, with a specific focus on how schools impact students under the age of 18.

Schools are often under-maintained. School is a place a child has to go, no matter the indoor environmental conditions. And young children are impacted by indoor environmental factors, like poor air quality, more than adults. We must make a school environment healthy for students in order to help them thrive.

So how are children actually impacted by the buildings in which they learn? Do schools impact their health? Do schools impact their performance? How do we make schools energy efficient and good for children?

Here, we provide a snapshot of the major research completed in the past 20 years focusing on four topics: indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, lighting, and acoustics.

CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW TO DOWNLOAD EACH BRIEFING NOTE.

 

 

We look at how each feature impacts young people differently to adults, how those features impact young people’s performance in schools, and ways to make them both healthy and sustainable.

We examined close to 100 pieces of academic research to showcase the leading and most recent research on schools and health, wellbeing and performance. We consider these four features to be very important to a school’s design and operation, but of course there are other building features that impact how a student performs in school, including biophilia, views, and look and feel. This is just the beginning of Better Places for People’s work on schools, health, wellbeing, and performance.

Direct links to the research are provided on the documents themselves, indicated by a circled number. This is by no means a fully comprehensive examination of the academic research on the topic, but we wanted to showcase the highlights of the research in a digestible format. Each of the statistics used are not necessarily relevant or replicable in all school buildings or climates, but the basic ideas are the same: children are more susceptible to indoor environmental factors than adults and this often leads to poor school performance. Thus, building a healthy, green school helps children thrive.

For an alternative academic examination of the literature, we direct the reader to Foundations for Student Success by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Since 2014, WorldGBC and our Green Building Councils have been leading the way on communicating the benefits of green buildings to people through our Better Places for People project. Our work on offices, retail and residential buildings has pushed the market to better incorporate the economic benefits green buildings provide to people into the business case for green buildings.

While the above work has focused on how adults typically experience buildings, we wanted to provide additional resources on the topic of health, wellbeing and productivity in schools, with a specific focus on how schools impact students under the age of 18.

Schools are often under-maintained. School is a place a child has to go, no matter the indoor environmental conditions. And young children are impacted by indoor environmental factors, like poor air quality, more than adults. We must make a school environment healthy for students in order to help them thrive.

So how are children actually impacted by the buildings in which they learn? Do schools impact their health? Do schools impact their performance? How do we make schools energy efficient and good for children?

Here, we provide a snapshot of the major research completed in the past 20 years focusing on four topics: indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort, lighting, and acoustics.

CLICK ON THE ICON BELOW TO DOWNLOAD EACH BRIEFING NOTE.

 

 

We look at how each feature impacts young people differently to adults, how those features impact young people’s performance in schools, and ways to make them both healthy and sustainable.

We examined close to 100 pieces of academic research to showcase the leading and most recent research on schools and health, wellbeing and performance. We consider these four features to be very important to a school’s design and operation, but of course there are other building features that impact how a student performs in school, including biophilia, views, and look and feel. This is just the beginning of Better Places for People’s work on schools, health, wellbeing, and performance.

Direct links to the research are provided on the documents themselves, indicated by a circled number. This is by no means a fully comprehensive examination of the academic research on the topic, but we wanted to showcase the highlights of the research in a digestible format. Each of the statistics used are not necessarily relevant or replicable in all school buildings or climates, but the basic ideas are the same: children are more susceptible to indoor environmental factors than adults and this often leads to poor school performance. Thus, building a healthy, green school helps children thrive.

For an alternative academic examination of the literature, we direct the reader to Foundations for Student Success by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.