Coalition for Healthier Schools, 2016.

Healthy schools help children grow and learn. But providing children with healthy places to learn is too often an afterthought—or not thought of at all. School facilities have been neglected for decades. Towards Healthy Schools: Reducing Risks to Children is the fourth in a series of triennial state of the states’ reports

from Healthy Schools Network and its partners in the Coalition for Healthier Schools, dating from 2006. Previous reports assessed state-by-state environmental health hazards at schools, offered compelling personal narratives from parents and teachers, and provided data needed to assess the subsequent impact on children’s health. The last report, Towards Healthy Schools 2015, went deeper into specific issues such as asthma, and fracking and well water, while also using federal poverty statistics—e.g., the number of children in a school eligible for free or reduced-price meals—as a proxy for poverty and to highlight essential inequities and injustices. It also highlighted how greener, cleaner, healthier schools promote attendance and achievement. Yet, no state publishes information regarding children at risk due to school and/or child care center environmental hazards. To drive home the national scope of the hidden environmental health crisis faced by children, this new report features published media reports on environmental conditions from every state in the nation. From Alabama, where Bay Minette parents threatened to keep their children home to avoid exposing them to asbestos, to Wyoming, where grass fires endangered students at South High, it is a disturbing summary, highlighting the fact that across the country teachers, parents, and guardians, and the children themselves, face numerous and serious unexamined and unaddressed risks to health and learning which are rarely acknowledged by public agencies.

Environmental Protection Agency (2015)

School locations and community development are inextricably linked. School locations affect community land use patterns and infrastructure needs. Local land use, the location and capacity of road and utility networks, and community investments in economic development, housing, and other social programs affect school surroundings and learning environments. Taken together, school siting and other community decisions influence housing and transportation choices, neighborhood vitality, economic development, costs of community services, environmental quality, and overall community health and well-being.

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David Henebry, AIA NCARB ALEP, 2016

The traditional process of locating schools has consisted simply of mapping attendance areas and meeting with realtors to discuss and choose an available property. Today, however, due to a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of the development of schools on communities, there is a desire to explore a smarter approach to identify sites for schools. The objective of this essay is to provide a comprehensive, long-term strategic approach for siting schools in growing communities. Now that we have a stronger understanding of the socioeconomic impacts of development on communities, we want to explore a smarter approach to identifying sites for schools. This paper is focused on a comprehensive long term strategic approach to identifying sites for schools in growing communities.


Ford, 2016

Over half of the school facilities in America are in poor condition. Unsatisfactory school facilities have a negative impact on teaching and learning. The purpose of this correlational study was to identify the relationship between high school science teachers’ perceptions of the school science environment (instructional equipment, demonstration equipment, and physical facilities) and ninth grade students’ attitudes about science through their expressed enjoyment of science, importance of time spent on science, and boredom with science. A sample of 11,523 cases was extracted, after a process of data mining, from a databank of over 24,000 nationally representative ninth graders located throughout the United States. The instrument used to survey these students was part of the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:2009). The research design was multiple linear regression. The results showed a significant relationship between the science classroom conditions and students’ attitudes. Demonstration equipment and physical facilities were the best predictors of effects on students’ attitudes. Conclusions based on this study and recommendations for future research are made.

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Koo, Kim, and Hong, 2014

Since the increase in greenhouse gas emissions has increased the global warming potential, an international agreement on carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) has been formulated in Kyoto Protocol (1997). This study aimed to develop a framework for the analysis of the low-carbon scenario 2020 to achieve the national CERT. To verify the feasibility of the proposed framework, educational facilities were used for a case study. This study was conducted in six steps: (i) selection of the target school; (ii) establishment of the reference model for the target school; (iii) energy consumption pattern analysis by target school; (iv) establishment of the energy retrofit model for the target school; (v) economic and environmental assessment through the life cycle cost and life cycle CO2 analysis; and (vi) establishment of the low-carbon scenario in 2020 to achieve the national CERT. This study can help facility managers or policymakers establish the optimal retrofit strategy within the limited budget from a short-term perspective and the low-carbon scenario 2020 to achieve the national CERT from the long-term perspective. The proposed framework could be also applied to any other building type or country in the global environment.

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Mahoney, 2015

Current trends for primary public school design do not account for the psychological effects everyday stress and trauma have on the ability for students to effectively learn. Set design standards and regulations efficiently disregard designing to alleviate student stress and for child-, community-, demographic-, and age- centered environments in order to foster learning for all students. The aim of this thesis is to define the principal architectural concepts responsible for the creation of a child focused primary school environment integrated with the specific elements needed for the mitigation of everyday stress and trauma on the student.

The relevance and limitations of current primary school design trends will be addressed to situate the discussion of designing schools to mitigate the effects of mental or emotional strain or tension on students. Typically, children are less able to cope with these situations leading to a state of mind ‘turned off’ to learning. A primary school designed for the student needs to respond to the emotional needs of the student while providing a positive first impression of learning. By defining the spatial qualities needed to address the effects of everyday stress and trauma combined with how to design for children and the critique of current design trends, this thesis will present the final design aims and methods for providing an urban, public school for the downtown Cincinnati area meant to mitigate the effects of everyday stress and trauma on students in order to promote learning through the built environment.

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Iyer-Raniga et al., 2015

The impact of climate change and adaptation pose huge challenges to the built environment. Educational institutions in particular, are faced with not just management of their built assets, but also future proofing their assets from a climate change and adaptation perspective as well as a learning and teaching perspective. While there are recent examples of educational institutions joining the wave of building iconic Green Star buildings across Australia, there still remains the question of whether the physical building, facilities management and occupancy patterns provide realistic triple bottom line (TBL) outcomes. Very little post occupancy studies, if any, are undertaken particularly capturing key experiences to further improve future new building development and refurbishment. Using the experience of an iconic building that has won numerous awards in Australia, this paper captures the learning from the perspective of educational institutions as owner-occupiers of built assets. A case study was undertaken using a mixed method research approach. Interviews were undertaken with the project team, both internal and external to the educational institution, complemented by post occupancy evaluation (POE) examining energy and water use of the building. In addition, a Building User Satisfaction survey was also undertaken. While the data set was evaluated using various frameworks, this paper focuses on the role of the management style in ensuring TBL sustainability outcomes. The paper highlights the importance of senior management support in achieving TBL outcomes and presents some guidelines for other educational institutions wanting to future proof their assets.

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Asmar, Chokor, and Sroui, 2014

Balancing energy performance and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) performance has become a conventional tradeoff in sustainable building design. In recognition of the impact IEQ performance has on the occupants of educational facilities, universities are increasingly interested in tracking the performance of their buildings. This paper highlights and quantifies several key factors that affect the occupant satisfaction of higher education facilities by comparing building performance of two campuses located in two different countries and environments. A total of 320 occupants participated in IEQ occupant satisfaction surveys, split evenly between the two campuses, to investigate their satisfaction with the space layout, space furniture, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting level, acoustic quality, water efficiency, cleanliness and maintenance of the facilities they occupy. The difference in IEQ performance across the two campuses was around 17% which lays the foundation for a future study to explore the reasons behind this noticeable variation.

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