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Do School Facilities Affect Academic Outcomes?

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Released November 2002. Those involved in school planning and design see this as an opportunity to enhance academic outcomes by creating better learning environments. Their logic is compelling—how can we expect students to perform at high levels in school buildings that are substandard? We all know that clean, quiet, safe, comfortable, and healthy environments are an important component of successful teaching and learning. But which facility attributes affect academic outcomes the most and in what manner and degree? The research is examined here in six categories: indoor air quality, ventilation, and thermal comfort; lighting; acoustics; building age and quality; school size; and class size.

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