IVY High Performance Green School
High performance school is a facility that improve the learning environment while saving energy, nurture natural resources, and improve student health and well being. It refers to the school building and its grounds. A well-designed high performance school facility can truly enhance students health and make education a more enjoyable and rewarding experience. Ivy School team has built a high performance school in Royal Residence that requires an integrated, "whole building" approach to the design process. Key systems and technologies has been considered together, from the beginning of the design process, and optimized based on their combined impact on the comfort and productivity of students and teachers.
High performance design will definitely impact students, teachers as well as staff health and morale. The primary benefits include higher test scores, increased average daily attendance, lower operation costs, improved teacher satisfaction and retention, decreased liability, and reduced environmental impacts.
Help Educate Students and Promote Health
High performance design can have a positive effect on health and comfort, and design strategies such as daylighting have been shown to enhance student learning. Excellent indoor air quality is essential for teacher and student health. The school facility design team also produces more comfortable environments with proper lighting, air temperature, humidity, and noise levels. This reduces distractions and creates environments where students and teachers can see clearly, hear accurately, and not feel too warm or too cold.
High performance design creates environments that are energy and resource efficient. These increased efficiencies save money on utility bills. Furthermore, healthier environments can bring goodness into the school by lowering students and teachers absenteeism and increasing funding based on Average Daily Attendance. These financial, health, and productivity benefits are the result of integrated design and optimize the performance of the entire school.
Higher Test Scores
A growing number of studies are confirming the relationship between a school's physical condition, especially its lighting and indoor air quality, and student performance. One recent study of many school districts in the US indicates a strong correlation between increased daylighting and improved student performance. In the California district, for example, during the course of one year, students with the most daylighting progressed twenty percent faster on math tests and twenty-six percent faster on reading tests than those with the least daylighting. These results echo findings in a similar study conducted in North Carolina schools.
The message confirms what teachers, students, and parents have known anecdotally for years: a better facility—one with great acoustics, lighting, indoor air quality and other high performance features—will deliver better student outcomes.
Increased Average Daily Attendance
A high performance school provides superior indoor air quality by controlling sources of contaminants, providing adequate ventilation, and preventing moisture accumulation. Pollutants are kept out of the classroom, stale air is eliminated, and mold growth is eliminated—all tactics designed to reduce the sources of health problems and inhibit the spread of airborne infections. The result will be fewer sick days for both students and teachers, especially those with asthma or other respiratory problems. The majority of a school's performance is directly dependent on average daily attendance, so even a small increase can significantly boost the student health and performance.
Reduced Operation Costs
High performance schools are specifically designed using life cycle cost methods to minimize the long-term costs of ownership. They use less energy and water than standard schools and are easier to maintain. As a consequence, overall operating costs are low and remain so for the life of the facility. Savings can be used to supplement other budgets, such as special education, computers, books, and more competitive tuition.
Increased Teacher Satisfaction and Retention
High performance classrooms are designed to be pleasant and effective places to work. Visual and thermal comfort are high, acoustics are good, and the indoor air is fresh and clean. Such environments act as positive factors in recruiting and retaining teachers and in improving their overall satisfaction with their positions.
Because they are healthy and emphasize superior indoor environmental quality, high performance school buildings reduce students’ exposure to health-related problems.
Reduced Environmental Impacts
Ivy high performance school buildings are consciously designed to respond to and positively impact the environment. They are energy and water efficient. They use durable, nontoxic materials that are high in recycled content and are themselves easily recycled. They preserve pristine natural areas on their sites and restore damaged ones. And they use nonpolluting, renewable energy to the greatest extent possible. As a consequence, high performance school buildings are good environmental citizens and they are designed to stay that way throughout their entire life cycles.
These benefits arise only when school leadership establish high performance as a specific goal from the very beginning, and fight for it, hard, over the course of the development process. A focus on student and teacher outcomes, coupled with a concern for the environment and a commitment to cost-effectiveness, will help ensure that the effort is successful and that the school achieves the highest performance level possible for its particular circumstances.