More Green Research Needed, Report Says

A report from green school advocates is calling for more research into the effect of education facilities on student health and performance.

In "The Impact of Buildings on Student Health and Performance: A Call for Research," the Center for Green Schools and The McGraw-Hill Research Foundation say that education stakeholders can play a critical part to "advance, identify and require research into the connection between school buildings and student health and learning."

"Researchers want to partner with school staff and leadership to help them make more informed decisions, but they need guidance from school board and facilities staff about what research would be useful and feasible," the reports says.

It urges schools to take part in programs such as ENERGY STAR and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Tools for Schools to help build a national database on school facilities. It also calls for comparisons of schools built from the same prototype design to see how any variations might affect building performance. School systems should document building operations to see how renovations or other building changes affect student health or performance, the report says.

The green advocates want greater involvement from other stakeholders—teachers, students, designers, builders, researchers, governmental agencies and supporting organizations.

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