Green design experiences: A case study

Wesley Thomas Doll, University of Pennsylvania


In December 2002, students moved 200 feet from a 1950's school building to a newly constructed “green design” Clearview Elementary School building. “Green design” buildings are intended to assure the healthiest possible environment for the occupants through the use of natural lighting, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and acoustics. This “green design” case study investigated the Hanover Public School District's experiences in the areas of health and productivity of students and classroom teachers. In particular, I investigated whether the “green design” facility delivered what it promised in the areas of natural lighting, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and acoustics. I gathered information from classroom teachers and students inhabiting Clearview Elementary School with surveys and interviews to obtain direct feedback about their experiences in the building. Furthermore, I used aggregated data to evaluate the impacts of a “green design” building in the areas of attendance, health, student test scores, and student academic engaged time. I gathered similar information from Washington Elementary School, an older school in the same school district, and compared the schools. In addition, I used equipment to measure and gather information regarding natural lighting, indoor air quality, thermal comfort, and acoustics. As a result of gathering and interpreting the data I found slight differences between Green Clearview Elementary and Traditional Washington Elementary, but on most measures, the differences were not statistically significant. I also found that the classroom teachers' perceptions and experiences at Green Clearview were more favorable in the areas of health when compared to teacher experiences in a traditional school. Additionally, although the classroom teachers at Green Clearview agree that daylighting is important, the overabundance of daylighting in the classroom produces challenges during daily classroom instruction. Perhaps a longitudinal study, which controls for the numerous environmental variables, could produce even more specific answers on the benefits of building “green design” educational institutions.

Subject Area

Elementary education

Recommended Citation

Doll, Wesley Thomas, "Green design experiences: A case study" (2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3168020.