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Environmental Factors, Children’s Health and Performance, and Sustainable Building Practices

Applications due Oct 8. 2013

Summary: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research that will inform school (K-12 educational facilities) building design, construction and operation practices in order to foster safe and healthy school environments and maximize student achievement and teacher and staff effectiveness. Specifically, the goal is to understand the relationship between environmental factors defined broadly and the health, safety and performance of students, teachers and staff. In addition to health-related concerns, the school environment may similarly impact the performance of students, teachers and staff, including lowering student achievement outcomes, and reducing teacher effectiveness. Accordingly, research is needed to better understand the negative impacts of the school environment on students’ health, safety, and achievement, and to measure the positive potential benefits of effectively managing environmental factors and applying sustainable building practices. The results of this research will help ensure that the risks of environmentally-induced illness and injury to America’s students, teachers and other school staff are diminished or avoided and that students, teachers and staff are provided with optimal learning environments in their schools.

More information at:

http://www.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2013/2013_star_healthy_schools.html

Designing buildings to be pest-free

Pest Prevention By Design Guidelines is a new free resource for designing buildings to be resistant to common pests, such as rats, mice, pigeons and cockroaches. San Francisco’s Integrated Pest Management Program initiated the project after initial pesticide use reductions achieved by the program began to level off.  Program participants suspected poor design was a key barrier to further reductions.

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