Sustainability is the theme, and it’s a term that has come to have a variety of meanings.  I won’t attempt to pose one myself, but instead will let the contributors in this issue share their own views on the topics of sustainability, green design, and environmental stewardship.

You will learn more about the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification, which more institutions are adopting as a design and construction standard.  In addition, you will learn about several exciting programs and activities that numerous organizations and institutions are doing to improve the design function not only for maintenance and operations but for a better working, learning, and living environment.

Sustainability is not a passing fad.  It is becoming increasingly integral to the planning, design, construction, and operations of our educational facilities.  The sooner we adopt and incorporate sustainable concepts into our ongoing efforts, the better-equipped our institutions will be to compete in the future.

This issue of Facilities Manager also introduces a new column, Code Talkers.  This is an outgrowth of the code advocacy and compliance efforts that Past President Brooks Baker introduced to APPA during his presidency.

Code Talkers will be written by a variety of experts each focusing on a different code, standard, or topic affecting educational facilities.  You will see articles on fire and life safety codes, new or ongoing environmental mandates, building codes, healthcare guidelines, international standards, and other topics of interest.  If you have suggestions for future topics, please contact us at or

Many thanks to Brooks Baker, Alan Bigger, and Doug Erickson for their efforts in the code arena and in launching the Code Talkers column.

Finally, we are happy to announce that APPA’s new Facilities Core Data Survey is underway, following a long development and testing period.  This exciting new survey contains 12 modules; you may complete as many or as few of the modules as you wish, depending upon your interest or institutional need.  We thank APPA’s Information and Research Committee and Laura Long of LTL Collaborative for their leadership and assistance in developing the new survey.

The 12 modules are:

Upon completion of five of the modules you will receive several instant reports based upon your responses.  These include:

These reports will give you immediate feedback on such indicators as the Facility Condition Index, the Needs Index, Operating Cost as a Percentage of Current Replacement Value, and much more.  And when all the data have been scrubbed and analyzed, all participating institutions will receive a customized report showing comparisons of their data to other participants in areas such as Carnegie classification, APPA region, public/private, and other categories.

We need your school to participate in the Facilities Core Data Survey in order to build a database of key facilities performance indicators that will provide us with reliable, credible, and annually updated information.

To participate in the survey, please go to and register.  The deadline for the survey is March 18, 2005.