A recent report from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), along with several other groups, documents the financial costs and benefits of green schools compared to conventional schools. Following are some of the main conclusions of this report.
- Greening school design provides an extraordinarily cost-effective way to enhance student learning.
- Some green schools are built on the same budget as conventional schools.
- There is a large body of research linking health and productivity with specific building design attributes.
- 17 separate studies all found positive health impacts from improved indoor air quality, ranging from 13.5% up to 87% improvement.
- Good lighting “improves tests scores, reduces off-task behavior, and plays a significant role in the achievement of students.”
- A recent review of five separate studies found an average asthma reduction of 38.5% in buildings with improved air quality.
- The financial benefits of greening schools are about $70 per sq.ft., more than 20 times as high as the cost of going green.
- Greening schools today is extremely cost-effective, and represents a fiscally far better design choice.