According to recent research from McGraw Hill Construction, the growth in green school building is about more than saving on utility bills. According to the authors of “New and Retrofit Green Schools,” the sector is unique because to decision makers, “the impact of green buildings on the health and well being of their students is as important as energy in encouraging new green investments.”
A survey of nearly 500 professionals, including architects, contractors, education professionals and others suggests that these benefits are being attained. Among K-12 respondents, 91 percent reported that green schools improve student health and well-being. In addition, 74 percent reported that green schools improve student productivity and test scores, citing factors such as better acoustics and daylighting.
In a recent interview, LPA architect Wendy Rogers remarked that she was not surprised by the findings. “A green classroom provides better acoustics, better thermal comfort and better lighting,” she said. “This improved environment aids in how students think and learn, and the natural outcome will be improved performance.”
To strengthen current trends, respondents called for more dedicated sustainability professionals at schools and more studies to measure the financial, health and performance returns from green investments.