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The Benefits of a Healthy School Building

Grow Schools

July 10, 2019

Benefits Of A Healthy School Building
How Does Your School Building Impact Student Health, Attendance, and Performance?

A large body of research has demonstrated that school buildings can influence student success. In Schools for Health, Foundations for Student Success: How school buildings influence student health, thinking, and performance by Harvard School of Public Health, researchers identify nine foundations of a healthy school:

  1. Ventilation
  2. Thermal Health
  3. Lighting and Views
  4. Air Quality
  5. Moisture
  6. Dust and Pests
  7. Water Quality
  8. Safety and Security
Grow Schools Healthy School Foundation
  • As of 2019, there were up to 13.8 million missed school days each year due to asthma.
  • Kids can face adverse environmental exposures associated with building decay, such as water damage, mold growth, poor plumbing, and legacy pollutants that persist in the environment.
  • Common indoor air pollutants in schools have been associated with acute, chronic health effects. Elevated CO2 levels in classrooms have been linked to increased student absence.
  • Thermal conditions can impact focus and performance. Low absolute humidity has been associated with increased transmission of seasonal influenza outbreaks, leading to absenteeism.
  • Students in schools with the noisiest types of HVAC systems were found to underperform on student achievement tests.
  • Students’ perceived sense of security can impact their mental health, engagement in school activities, and academic achievement.
  • Allergens common in schools can affect student attendance, comfort, and performance.
  • Students exposed to blue-enriched white light in the morning have shown faster cognitive processing speed and better concentration performance.
Grow Schools Healthy School Benefits
Resources for Building Upgrades

The scientific evidence presented in the Harvard study represents only a fraction of the vast body of research supporting the need to upgrade and improve school buildings.

The good news is that when schools take action, tangible results follow. Here are more resources to help you if you’re starting a building renovation project.

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