provides evidence that specific, as opposed to overall, building conditions adversely affect the indoor environments of schools and may hinder learning and impact the health of teachers and students. For example, the studies of Wargocki et al. (2005) were designed as crossover longitudinal studies intervening on specific elements (ventilation, temperature) while holding other conditions constant. These studies demonstrated modest improvements in student performance on routinely used weekly tests of verbal and math skills. Perhaps the research that attempts to relate overall building condition to student achievement is asking the wrong question. To understand how building conditions affect student and teacher performance, it would be better to measure one or more building performance characteristics, develop a theory linking the performance characteristics and student and/or teacher outcomes, and test the linkage using adequate measures of the outcomes of interest and fully specified regression models. Issues related to improving research are discussed in detail in Chapter 10.
Current green school guidelines encourage attention to school maintenance through measures such as a computerized district maintenance plan that inventories all equipment—including HVAC, lighting, roofing, and control systems—and establishes annual tasks, with the labor and material required for their maintenance. In combination with an indoor environmental quality management plan, a computerized maintenance management plan is intended to ensure that the performance of a green school is maintained over its service life.
Finding 8: The methodologies used in studies correlating overall building condition with student achievement are not adequate to determine if there is a relationship between overall building condition and student test scores. This research tradition seems to address a more general and diffuse question and does not produce high-quality evidence relative to either school design or specific aspects of maintenance. Improved research for understanding how specific building conditions affect student and teacher performance would measure one or more building performance characteristics, develop a theory linking those characteristics and student and/or teacher outcomes, and test the linkage using adequate measures of the outcomes of interest and fully specified regression models.