Making the Grade: How IEQ in Schools Affects Student Performance


Garden 3

  • Primary Core Competencies: Assessment of the School Facility
  • AIA CEU: 1.0 LU HSW
  • Secondary Core Competencies: Design of Educational Facilities


What is the most important factor in a successful school? When renovating or building a new school, what do school districts care about the most? Student achievement. This session will explore how high-performance design strategies can have a direct positive impact on student performance, and consequently how this information can be used to justify the value of high-performance design to clients moving forward. The session will present the content of a recent research report that studied schools across the District of Columbia, including recently modernized as well as non-modernized schools constructed across the 20th Century. This study explores both qualitative and quantitative data of each school’s Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) including daylight, thermal comfort, acoustics, and air quality. These data points are then cross compared with various performance metrics from each school to determine which factors did and did not affect student performance. All the sensors used for the study will be available during this session, and live readings will be occurring for attendees to test the Indoor Environmental Quality of the room themselves. Ultimately this study provides the much-needed justification for high-performance schools, showcasing that modernization can have a significant impact on student performance.

Learning Objectives

OBJ #1  Explain how indoor environmental quality can affect student and teacher performance.

OBJ #2  Gain awareness of tools that can be used to measure indoor environmental quality quantitatively and qualitatively.

OBJ #3  Analyze how modernized and non-modernized schools can impact indoor environmental quality and student performance

OBJ #4  Apply this information to improve and measure the IEQ in your educational projects moving forward

Patrick Davis, Chief Operating Officer, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)

Heather Jauregui LEED BD+C, O+M, CPHC, Sustainability Specialist, Perkins Eastman

Sean O'Donnell, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal, Perkins Eastman