News Analysis

Two Reports Laud Green Schools

December 5, 2006

The NRC study, “Green Schools: Attributes for Health and Learning,” was performed at the request of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Barr Foundation, the Kendall Foundation, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The report came from the Committee to Review and Assess the Health and Productivity Benefits of Green Schools, a team convened by NRC. John Spengler, Ph.D., from the Harvard School of Public Health, chaired the committee, and Vivian Loftness, FAIA, of the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture and a USGBC board member, served as vice chair.

The NRC report suggests that there is statistically significant evidence that at least five school attributes support student and teacher health, learning, and productivity: dryness, good indoor air quality and thermal comfort, quietness, well-maintained systems, and cleanliness. Conspicuously absent from this list is daylighting, which has been promoted by many as the main benefit green schools offer students and faculty (see