Foundations of Building Health: Scientific Evidence for Action

With another school year approaching, it is essential that we find novel ways to optimize student learning, promote teacher quality and retention, and support staff and facilities effectively. An evidence-based approach is a step toward this goal.

In 2017, the Healthy Buildings Team at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health released the report Schools for Health: Foundations for Student Success, which clearly demonstrates that health is foundational to student thinking and performance. The report includes findings from over 250 research articles and more than 70 health and performance metrics. The goals of the document were to—

  1. Synthesize more than 30 years of scientific research about the impacts of indoor environmental quality in schools.
  2. Identify diverse metrics of success beyond standardized test scores.
  3. Provide an accessible, evidence-based guide to the acute and chronic effects our school buildings have on us each day.

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