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Green Schools: Attributes for Health and Learning

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The quality of indoor environments, including the level of air pollutants, temperature, humidity, noise, light, and space, can affect the health and development of children and adults. Additionally, building design, materials, systems, operation, maintenance, and cleaning practices can also affect occupants’ health and development. Buildings--including schools--affect the natural environment, and the "green building" movement emerged to promote methods for designing buildings that have fewer environmental impacts.
This report explores the effects of green schools on student learning and teacher productivity, and looks at the possible connections between green schools and student and teacher health.
Authored by a committee chaired by Dr. John D. Spengler, Director of the The Center for Health and the Global Enviornment, the findings and recommendations in this study will be of interest to school administrators, school district business managers, federal and state education officials, parents, and teachers, as well as architects and engineers specializing in school design.
With permission, we've provided the executive summary of the report below. Download the full report from the National Academies Press website.
Reprinted with permission from Green Schools: Attributes for Health and Learning (2006), by the National Academy of Sciences, courtesy of the National Academies Press, Washington, D.C.
June 6, 2006