Studies have demonstrated the direct benefits of better lighting, air quality, acoustics and temperature control on student health and academic performance. Here is some of the available research about the benefits of green schools.

The National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities has a comprehensive list of studies.


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    New and Retrofit Green Schools: The Influence of a Green School on Its Occupants

    In the past three years, McGraw-Hill Construction has seen tremendous growth in the green education market. In 2008, McGraw-Hill Construction sized the green building market share at 15% of total construction starts by value. By 2011, that share had grown to 45%, a market valued at $19 billion—the largest sector for green by value. Therefore, understanding and growing the green education market is critical to the growth of the green building market overall. This new market research study supports this signifi cant market sizing, and it also confi rms that the penetration of green into the education sector is deep.

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    The Impact of School Buildings on Student Health and Performance

    Jointly released with McGraw Hill Foundation, this paper is an accessible account of current research connecting school buildings with student health and performance. It also includes a summary of research needed and how individual groups (teachers and students, design professionals, government agencies, etc.) can help in the effort to draw connections between where students learn and their well being. Anyone who needs clear, defensible research to support the need for better, healthier classrooms will find the summary of research into how students breathe, see, hear, move and learn useful.

  • Climate Neutral Campus Report
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    Climate Neutral Campus Report

    USGBC and AASHE have partnered with Kyoto Publishing to create the second edition of the Climate Neutral Campus Report. This year’s report focuses on green building campus leadership from stakeholder groups including students, faculty, administration and facilities..

  • Green Cleaning in Schools: Summary of Selected State and School District Policies View page

    Green Cleaning in Schools: Summary of Selected State and
    School District Policies

    Environmental Law Institute's Green Cleaning in Schools: Summary of Selected State and School District Policies (2007) explores how "Green cleaning" can reduce environmental and health risks by a building’s occupants, while recognizing that cleaning products are necessary to maintain a sanitary environment in schools. It also summarizes selected state laws, proposed state legislation and school district policies that promote green cleaning in schools.

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    Study Into the Effects of Light on Children of
    Elementary School Age

    A Study Into the Effects of Light on Children of Elementary School Age – A Case of Daylight Robbery describes the effects of various lighting systems on elementary school students' dental health, attendance, growth and development, vision, and academic achievement.

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    Role of LEED in Higher Education

    This report is a 2010 update to the “To LEED or Not to LEED” paper, outlining progress and changes in application of the LEED rating system in building policies at higher education institutions.

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    Greening the Bottom Line:
    The Trend toward Green Revolving Funds on Campus (SEI)

    Greening the Bottom Line, published by the Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) with more than a dozen partner organizations, brings to light current trends based on the first survey ever conducted about GRFs in higher education. Green revolving funds invest in enhancing energy efficiency and decreasing resource use, thereby reducing operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions. The cost savings boost the bottom line and replenish the GRF for investment in the next round of green upgrades.

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    LEED for Neighborhood Development on Campuses

    Learn how LEED for Neighborhood Development can be a useful tool for campus development.

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    Advancing Education for Sustainability:
    Teaching the Concepts of Sustainable Building to All Students

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    Minority-Serving Institutions Green Report:
    2010 Campus Sustainability Survey

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    CSU LEED for Existing Buildings:
    Operations & Maintenance Feasibility Report

  • View Case Studies

    National Wildlife Federation
    Campus Ecology Case Studies

    Close to 100 new case studies from 2011, highlighting efforts to dramatically reduce pollution, waste and costs, including recycling, energy efficiency improvements, alternative transportation systems and green jobs training programs. In addition to the new submissions, the database includes more than 650 case studies from campuses across the U.S. spanning more than a decade; the database is searchable by topic, year and school, and includes information on each college’s project goals, successes, challenges, funding strategies and project leaders.