Welcome to our Glossary of School Facility Planning and Maintenance, a valuable resource for school officials, architects, facility managers, and educational stakeholders. In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, understanding the specific terminology used in the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of school facilities is crucial. This glossary offers clear, concise definitions of key terms and concepts, ranging from architectural design and construction techniques to maintenance practices and safety protocols. Whether you're overseeing a new construction project, managing an existing facility, or just keen to learn more about the intricacies of educational infrastructure, our glossary is designed to provide you with the insights and knowledge you need.

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1:1 Technology (One-to-One): An educational program where each student in a class, school, or district is provided a personal laptop, tablet, or other electronic device to access and use digital learning materials.

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Access Control: Systems and procedures designed to manage and monitor access to school facilities, such as key card systems, biometrics, and entry checkpoints.

Accessibility in Design: Designing school facilities and environments to be accessible and usable by people of all abilities, including those with disabilities. This covers a wide range of considerations, from entrances and restrooms to classroom layouts.

Acoustic Comfort: Designing spaces to minimize noise pollution and enhance sound quality, important for reducing stress and improving communication.

Acoustic Design: Planning and designing buildings to enhance sound quality and minimize noise disruption, particularly important in learning environments. View more on acoustics.

Acoustic Engineering: Designing school spaces to control sound levels and reverberation to enhance the learning environment, particularly important in music rooms and auditoriums.

Active Shooter Protocols: Specific procedures and training for responding to an active shooter situation in a school setting.

ADA: see Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Compliance: Refers to the adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that school facilities are accessible to all students and staff regardless of disability.

Adaptive Learning: A technology-based educational method which uses computer algorithms to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner.

Adaptive Reuse: The process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was originally built or designed for. This is often seen in schools that are converted from historic buildings or other structures. View projects noted for their adaptive reuse.

Addition: A new section or expansion attached to an existing building, typically designed to increase space and functionality. In school facilities, additions are used to accommodate growth or enhance facilities, requiring careful planning and design for seamless integration with the existing structure. View projects noted for their addition.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): U.S. legislation that ensures equal access and rights for individuals with disabilities, impacting building design to ensure accessibility.

Asbestos Abatement: The process of reducing or eliminating the health hazards associated with asbestos in buildings, often involving encapsulation, enclosure, or removal.

ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

Asset Management: The systematic process of deploying, operating, maintaining, and disposing of assets in the most cost-effective manner.

Asynchronous Learning: A learning style that allows students to complete their work on their own time. They are given a timeframe – usually a one-week window – during which they need to connect to their class at least once or twice.

Augmented Reality (AR) in Education: Overlaying digital information on real-world elements in a classroom setting, providing a more immersive learning experience.

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Ballast: A device used to regulate the current in fluorescent lamps, essential for proper operation and energy efficiency.

BAS: see Building Automation System

BIM: see Building Information Modeling

Biophilic design: An approach to architecture and interior design that integrates natural elements and processes into buildings and interiors to enhance human well-being and connect occupants more closely to nature.

Biometric: A method of identifying individuals based on unique biological characteristics, such as fingerprints, facial features, or iris patterns. Used in security systems for access control and identification purposes, offering high accuracy and efficiency. Biometric systems raise important considerations regarding privacy and data security.

Blended Learning: An educational approach that combines traditional classroom methods with online digital media, allowing for some degree of student control over time, place, path, or pace of learning.

Blueprints: Detailed technical drawings that outline the design, dimensions, and layout of a building, essential for construction planning and implementation.

BMS: see Building Management System

Bond Issues: A method of financing school projects through the sale of bonds to investors. Bonds are typically used for large-scale construction projects, and the debt is repaid over time with interest.

Building Automation Systems (BAS): Systems that automate the control of various building systems, such as HVAC and lighting, to improve energy efficiency and comfort.

Building Codes: Regulations that set the standards for construction practices and materials, ensuring the safety and health of occupants.

Building Envelope: The physical barrier between the interior and exterior of a building, including walls, floors, roofs, doors, and windows, key to controlling the indoor environment. View more on the building envelope.

Building Information Modeling (BIM): A digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility, forming a reliable basis for decisions during its lifecycle.

Building Management System (BMS): An automated control system that monitors and manages the building's mechanical and electrical equipment such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems, and security systems.

Building Materials: Various substances used in the construction of school buildings, such as wood, steel, concrete, and glass, each with specific properties affecting durability, sustainability, and aesthetics.

Building Orientation: The positioning of a building in relation to environmental factors, such as sunlight and wind, which can impact energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality.

Bullying Prevention Programs: Initiatives and policies aimed at preventing bullying and promoting a safe and respectful school environment.

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Campus Master Plan: A comprehensive plan that guides the future growth and development of a school's physical campus.

Cantilever: A long projecting beam or girder fixed at only one end, used in bridge construction and in the design of certain buildings.

Capital Budget: The budget for acquiring or maintaining fixed assets such as buildings, land, and equipment. This is separate from the operating budget, which covers day-to-day expenses.

Carbon Footprint Reduction: Strategies to minimize the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by school activities and operations.

Caulking: A material used to seal joints or seams against leakage in various structures and piping.

CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television): Used for security surveillance in and around school facilities.

Child Protection Policies: Policies and procedures designed to protect children from abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Chiller: A key component of HVAC systems used to cool fluids, which in turn are used to air condition large buildings.

Classroom Acoustics: Pertains to the design and modification of classrooms to minimize noise and enhance sound quality, impacting student learning and communication.

Cleaning and Custodial Care: The practices and responsibilities involved in keeping school facilities clean and sanitary, including daily cleaning routines and special cleaning projects.

Clerestory: High windows above eye level that allow light into a space. In schools, clerestories can be used to provide natural lighting without sacrificing wall space.

Color Theory in Design: The use of color in design to create an environment that enhances learning and well-being. Colors can influence mood, behavior, and perception.

Commissioning: A quality assurance process that begins during the design phase and continues through construction, occupancy, and operation to ensure that all school facility systems perform as intended.

Community Involvement in Design: Engaging students, teachers, parents, and community members in the design process of school facilities to ensure that the space meets the needs and expectations of its users.

Construction Costs: The total expenses incurred during the building phase of a school facility. This includes costs for materials, labor, equipment, and services required for construction.

Cost-Benefit Analysis: A financial analysis tool used to assess the economic value of a school facility project, comparing the benefits of a project against its costs.

CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design): A design strategy focusing on reducing crime and enhancing safety by influencing environmental layout and design.

Crisis Management: The process of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergency situations, including natural disasters, violent incidents, and other crises.

Cultural Sensitivity in Design: Acknowledging and incorporating cultural, historical, or community-specific elements into the design of school facilities.

Cybersecurity: Measures and practices to protect school information systems, networks, and data from cyber threats, such as hacking or data breaches.

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Dampers: Devices used in HVAC systems to regulate airflow. They can be manual or automated and are essential for controlling indoor air quality and temperature.

Daylighting: The use of natural light to illuminate school interiors, which can improve mood, performance, and energy efficiency.

Deferred Maintenance: Maintenance activities that are delayed or postponed due to budget constraints, which can lead to higher costs in the long run.

Design Guidelines: A set of criteria and recommendations that guide the design process of school facilities to ensure functionality, safety, and aesthetic quality.

Disaster Preparedness: Planning and preparation for responding to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes.

Drug and Alcohol Policies: Rules and programs to prevent and address substance abuse within the school community.

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Educational Specifications: Detailed descriptions of the educational requirements that a school facility must meet, including room sizes, technology needs, and special function areas.

Efficiency in Maintenance Operations: Practices aimed at maximizing the effectiveness and minimizing the cost of maintenance activities, often through the use of technology, staff training, and optimized processes.

Egress: The action of going out of or leaving a place; in architectural terms, it refers to the way one can exit a building, which is a critical consideration in school design for safety purposes.

Egress Lighting: Emergency lighting systems designed to help people safely exit a building in the case of an emergency.

E-Learning: Learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet. It includes courses offered entirely online as well as digital components in traditional classroom courses.

Electrical Systems: The network of electrical components used to provide power, lighting, and other electrical functions within a school facility.

Elevation: An architectural drawing showing a building's facade, typically used to provide a clear view of the exterior design and features.

Emergency Communication Systems: Systems used to communicate with students, staff, and parents during emergencies, such as mass notification systems.

Emergency Maintenance: Rapid and often unforeseen repairs in response to unexpected breakdowns or failures in a school facility, such as leak repairs or electrical issues.

Emergency Response Plan (ERP): A comprehensive, organized plan for handling emergencies, including evacuation procedures, lockdown protocols, and communication strategies.

Endowments: Funds established by donations with the stipulation that the principal remains intact and the investment income is used for specific purposes, such as building maintenance or scholarships.

Energy Efficiency: Refers to the use of technology and practices that reduce energy consumption in school buildings.

Energy Efficient Ventilation: Systems designed to provide adequate fresh air while minimizing energy use, crucial for maintaining IAQ and reducing operating costs.

Energy Management: The practice of controlling and reducing the energy consumption of a school facility, often through efficient HVAC systems, lighting, and energy monitoring.

Energy Performance Contracting: A financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements, where the costs are paid back through the energy savings achieved over time.

Environmental Compliance: Ensuring that maintenance and operations activities comply with environmental laws and regulations, such as those concerning air quality and waste disposal.

Environmental Impact Assessment: The process of evaluating the potential environmental effects of a proposed construction project before decisions are made.

Environmental Sustainability Education: Integrating principles of sustainability into the curriculum to educate students about their impact on the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The U.S. federal agency responsible for regulating environmental policies and standards, impacting school facility operations and compliance.

EPA: see Environmental Protection Agency

Ergonomic Design: Designing school spaces and furniture to fit the user's needs and minimize strain or injury, contributing to a healthier learning environment.

ERP: see Emergency Response Plan

Escalation Clause: A provision in a construction contract that allows for an increase in payment due to rising costs of materials, labor, or other factors.

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Facade: The exterior face or wall of a building, often designed to be aesthetically pleasing and reflective of the building’s purpose and character.

Facility Audit: An evaluation process to assess the conditions, efficiency, and effectiveness of school facilities.

Facility Management Software: Software tools used to manage maintenance tasks, track work orders, and maintain records of facility operations and maintenance activities.

Fenestration: Refers to the design, construction, or presence of openings in a building, including windows, doors, and skylights. Fenestration affects not only the aesthetic of a building but also its light intake and energy efficiency.

Financial Audit: An examination of a school's financial records and practices, typically conducted by an external entity, to ensure accuracy and compliance with regulations.

Fire Protection Systems: Systems designed to detect, extinguish, or prevent the spread of fire in a building, including alarms, sprinklers, and fire-resistant construction materials.

Fire Safety: Measures and practices in place to prevent, detect, and respond to fire incidents, including fire alarms, sprinklers, and extinguishers.

First Aid and Medical Facilities: Provisions within a school for addressing medical emergencies, including first aid kits, designated medical rooms, and trained personnel.

Flexible Learning Environments: Designing spaces that can be easily adapted or reconfigured to support various teaching methods and learning activities.

Flipped Classroom: A pedagogical model where typical lecture and homework elements are reversed. Students learn content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework is now done in class with teacher assistance.

Floor Plan: A scale drawing showing the arrangement of rooms, spaces, and physical features viewed from above, crucial for understanding the layout and flow of a building.

Foundation: The solid base upon which a building is constructed, designed to support the structure’s weight and ensure stability.

Fritted Glass: Glass with a fused ceramic pattern, often used to reduce glare and heat from sunlight in buildings.

FTE: see Full-Time Equivalent (often used in staffing models)

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE): A unit of measure expressing the workload of an employee or student group in a way that makes workloads or class sizes comparable across various contexts.

Funding: The financial resources allocated for the construction, renovation, or maintenance of school facilities. This can come from various sources, including government grants, private investments, or fundraising efforts.

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Gable Roof: A roof with two sloping sides that come together at a ridge, creating end walls with a triangular extension, known as a gable, at the top.

Gamification: The application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts, such as education, to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, learning, and more.

Geographic Information System (GIS): A system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. GIS can be used for campus planning, mapping, and emergency response planning.

Ghost Load: Also known as phantom load, this refers to the power consumed by electronic devices while they are turned off or in standby mode but still plugged in.

GIS: see Geographic Information System

Grants: Financial contributions provided by government entities, private companies, or foundations, usually for specific projects or programs and often requiring adherence to certain conditions or standards.

Green Building: Design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and occupants.

Green Cleaning Products: Environmentally friendly cleaning agents that are less harmful to human health and the environment compared to conventional products. These products are often biodegradable and free from toxic chemicals.

Green Space: Areas with natural elements like plants, trees, and grass within school grounds, important for environmental benefits and student well-being.

Greywater Systems: Systems that recycle water from sinks, showers, and laundry for use in toilet flushing or irrigation, promoting water conservation.

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Hazard Communication Standard (HCS): Regulations ensuring that information about the identities and hazards of chemicals in schools is available and understandable to workers.

HCS – see Hazard Communication Standard

Health and Safety Standards: Standards and practices implemented to ensure the health and safety of staff and students within school facilities.

HEPA Filter: High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters used in HVAC systems to remove fine particles like dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from the air.

Historic Preservation: The practice of preserving, conserving, and protecting buildings, objects, landscapes, or other artifacts of historical significance. This often involves restoring or maintaining historical architectural integrity.

HVAC Design: Planning the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, vital for maintaining indoor air quality and thermal comfort in a school environment.

HVAC Systems: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems that regulate the air quality and temperature in school buildings.

HVLS - High-Volume, Low-Speed fans: These are large ceiling fans that move a lot of air at a low rotational speed. They are used in large spaces like gymnasiums and cafeterias for effective and energy-efficient air circulation.

HyFlex (Hybrid-Flexible): A course design model that combines face-to-face (in-person) and online learning. Students can choose to attend sessions in the classroom, participate online, or do both.

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IAQ: see Indoor Air Quality

IEQ: see Indoor Environmental Quality

Inclusive Design: Designing school facilities that accommodate the diverse needs of all students, including those with physical and learning disabilities.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ): The condition of the air inside a building, which impacts the health, comfort, and well-being of building occupants. Factors affecting IAQ include ventilation, the presence of pollutants, and humidity levels.

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ): A measure of the quality of a building's environment in relation to the health and wellbeing of its occupants, considering factors like air quality and lighting.

Ingress and Egress: The points of entry and exit in a building, crucial in design for smooth traffic flow and emergency evacuations.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM): A sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.

Inventory Control: Managing the supply and availability of spare parts and maintenance materials to ensure timely repairs and maintenance.

IoT (Internet of Things): Refers to the network of physical devices embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet. In schools, this can include smart lighting, temperature controls, and safety monitoring systems.

IPM: see Integrated Pest Management

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LAN (Local Area Network): A computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a school, laboratory, or office building.

Landscape Architecture: Designing outdoor spaces in and around school facilities to be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and environmentally sustainable.

Landscape Architecture: The design of outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes, important for creating functional and inviting school grounds.

LCC: see Life Cycle Cost

Lead Remediation: The process of removing lead-based hazards from buildings, especially important in older school facilities that may contain lead paint or pipes.

Learning Commons: A flexible space within a school that supports collaborative learning, technology integration, and information literacy.

Learning Management System (LMS): Software applications for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs.

LED (Light Emitting Diode): A semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. LED lighting is used in schools for energy-efficient and long-lasting lighting solutions.

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LEED Certification: A globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership, often pursued in school building projects to ensure environmentally responsible and resource-efficient construction.

Life Cycle Cost (LCC): The total cost of owning, operating, maintaining, and disposing of a building or a building system over its expected life.

Life-Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA): The process of evaluating the total cost of facility ownership, including initial construction, operation, maintenance, and disposal costs.

Lifecycle Maintenance Planning: Planning maintenance activities over the life of a facility to ensure its long-term functionality and reduce total ownership costs.

LMS: see Learning Management System

Load-Bearing Walls: Walls that carry the weight of the structure above them, crucial in the building’s structural integrity.

Lockdown Procedures: Protocols for securing the school facility and protecting students and staff during potential threats or dangerous situations.

Louver: A set of angled slats or flat strips fixed or hung at regular intervals in a door, shutter, or screen to allow air or light to pass through.

Low-Emitting Materials: Building materials that release minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other pollutants, contributing to better IAQ.

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Maintenance and Operations Costs: Ongoing expenses associated with keeping a school facility functional, safe, and efficient. This includes costs for repairs, utilities, cleaning, and security.

Maintenance Policies: Written guidelines outlining how maintenance tasks should be conducted, including schedules, procedures, and responsibilities.

Makerspace: A collaborative workspace equipped with tools and materials, designed for students to work on projects, learn, and share ideas, typically focusing on technology, electronics, woodworking, and other DIY activities.

Maintenance Schedule: A planned timetable for regular maintenance activities to ensure the safety and functionality of school facilities.

Mechanical Systems: Systems within a building that provide mechanical services such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, plumbing, and elevators.

Mental Health Services: Support services provided within schools to address the mental health needs of students, including counseling and crisis intervention.

Microlearning: An approach to training that delivers content in short, focused bites. It's typically used for skills-based learning and development where learners can control what and when they're learning.

Modular Construction: A construction method where sections of a building are constructed off-site in a controlled environment and then transported and assembled at the final location, often resulting in faster completion times.

Mold Remediation: The process of removing mold and addressing the source of moisture that allows mold growth, essential for maintaining a healthy indoor environment.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): A free course offered online for a large number of participants. MOOCs often include video lectures, readings, and interactive user forums.

Mullion: A vertical or horizontal element that forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen, or is used decoratively.

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Near Field Communication (NFC): A set of communication protocols for communication between two electronic devices over a short distance. It's used in access control systems in schools.

NFC: see Near Field Communication

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Occupancy Load: The maximum number of individuals that can safely occupy a school building or room at one time.

Occupant Comfort: Designing school environments that meet the comfort needs of occupants, including aspects like temperature control, lighting, and ergonomic design.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): A U.S. government agency that sets and enforces standards to ensure safe and healthy working conditions.

Operating Budget: The annual budget for running a school facility, covering costs such as salaries, utilities, and supplies.

OSHA: see Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Outsourcing vs. In-House Services: Deciding between using external contractors or in-house staff for various maintenance and operational tasks.

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P3: see Public-Private Partnership

Parapet: A low protective wall along the edge of a roof, balcony, or terrace. In school buildings, parapets can be both functional and decorative.

Pedagogical Space Planning: Designing learning spaces based on educational methodologies and teaching practices.

Physical Security Measures: Physical barriers and deterrents such as fencing, locks, and security gates designed to prevent unauthorized access to school facilities.

Pilaster: A rectangular column, especially one projecting from a wall. Pilasters are primarily decorative but can also reinforce the wall's structural strength.

Plenum Space: The part of a building that lies between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling, often used for air circulation, wiring, and HVAC systems.

Post-Occupancy Evaluation: The process of evaluating the effectiveness and performance of a building after it has been occupied, often used to inform future projects.

Preventative Maintenance: Maintenance activities designed to prevent equipment failures before they occur, such as servicing HVAC systems or checking roof integrity.

Project Delivery Methods: Different methods for organizing and completing construction projects, such as Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, and Construction Management at Risk, each with unique roles, responsibilities, and contractual arrangements.

Project Management: The process of planning, organizing, and overseeing the construction of a school facility to ensure it is completed on time, within budget, and according to specifications.

Public-Private Partnerships (P3): Collaborative agreements between public and private sectors to finance, build, and operate school facilities, often used to leverage private funding for public projects.

Purchasing and Procurement: The process of acquiring goods and services needed for constructing or maintaining school facilities. This includes selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing purchases.

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Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID): A technology used for tracking and identification purposes via radio waves. In schools, RFID tags can be used for asset tracking, access control, or even tracking student attendance.

Radon Mitigation: Measures taken to reduce radon levels in indoor air. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer.

Recycling and Waste Reduction Programs: Initiatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle materials within the school to minimize waste and environmental impact.

Re-lamping: The process of replacing old or burnt-out light bulbs throughout a building, often done strategically to improve energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy Integration: Incorporating renewable energy sources, like solar or wind power, into a building's design to promote sustainability and reduce operating costs.

Renewable Energy Systems: Systems that generate energy from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, used to reduce a school's carbon footprint and energy costs.

Renovation vs. Retrofit: Renovation involves significant reconstruction or transformation of a space, while retrofitting refers to adding new features or technology to an existing structure. View projects noted for their renovation.

Retrofit: The process of adding new technology or features to older systems or buildings, often to improve energy efficiency or meet new standards.

Revenue Bonds: Bonds issued by schools or districts that are repaid from a specific source of revenue, such as student tuition or a special tax.

RFI/RFP/RFQ - Request for Information / Proposal / Quotation

RFID: see Radio-Frequency Identification

Risk Assessment: The process of identifying potential hazards and assessing the risks they pose to the school community.

Routine Maintenance: Regularly scheduled tasks to keep school facilities and equipment in working order, such as cleaning, minor repairs, and inspections.

R-Value: A measure of thermal resistance used in the building and construction industry. The higher the R-value, the better the material insulates.

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Safe Handling of Hazardous Materials: Procedures and policies for managing substances that could pose risks to health or the environment, including proper storage, use, and disposal.

Safety Drills: Regularly scheduled practice of safety procedures, such as fire drills or earthquake drills, to ensure students and staff are prepared for emergencies.

Safety Protocols: Guidelines and procedures developed to ensure the safety and security of students, staff, and visitors in school facilities.

SBS: see Sick Building Syndrome

School Resource Officer (SRO): Law enforcement officers assigned to schools to provide security and crime prevention services.

Security and Safety Design: Integrating security measures into school design, such as controlled entry points, surveillance systems, and emergency response plans.

Seismic Design: The process of designing buildings to withstand seismic forces, particularly important in earthquake-prone areas.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS): A situation where building occupants experience acute health discomfort or symptoms that seem to be linked directly to time spent in the building, often due to poor indoor air quality or ventilation.

Sinking Fund: A fund established by a school or district for repaying debt or financing significant future expenses, such as facility upgrades or repairs.

SIS: see Student Information System

Site Planning: The process of arranging structures on the land and shaping the space between them. This includes considerations of traffic flow, parking, playgrounds, and outdoor learning areas.

Site Survey: A detailed inspection and mapping of a construction site, providing critical information on topography, existing structures, and utilities, necessary for planning and design.

Smart Building Technology: Incorporating advanced technology systems into school buildings for improved efficiency and automation, including smart lighting, temperature control, and security systems.

Soffit: The underside of an architectural structure such as an arch, a balcony, or overhanging eaves.

Space Planning: The process of arranging interior spaces to maximize functionality and flow, a key aspect in designing effective learning environments.

Space Utilization and Efficiency: Managing and organizing space in school facilities to maximize usability and efficiency.

Stack Effect: The movement of air into and out of buildings, chimneys, flue-gas stacks, or other containers, driven by buoyancy due to a difference in indoor-to-outdoor air density resulting from temperature and moisture differences.

Staffing Models: Strategies for determining the number and specialization of maintenance and custodial staff required to effectively maintain a school facility.

STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (often in reference to specialized educational spaces)

Student Information System (SIS): A software application for education establishments to manage student data, academic records, and other school administrative needs.

SRO: see School Resource Officer

Structural Engineering: A field of engineering dealing with the design and analysis of building structures, ensuring they are safe and capable of withstanding various forces.

Structural Systems: The framework of components in a building that supports and transmits applied loads safely to the ground, including beams, columns, and foundations.

Surveillance Systems: The use of cameras and other technology to monitor activities within and around school premises for the purposes of safety and security.

Sustainability Practices in Maintenance: Incorporating sustainable practices in maintenance operations, such as using eco-friendly cleaning products and recycling materials. View more on sustainability and high-performance.

Sustainable Design: The practice of designing physical objects and services in a way that reduces their environmental impact. This includes energy-efficient buildings, the use of renewable energy, and water conservation strategies.

Sustainable Landscaping: Design and maintenance of school grounds using practices that conserve resources and reduce environmental impact.

Sustainable Materials: Building materials that are environmentally friendly and contribute to the sustainability of the school facility.

Synchronous Learning: Real-time learning that takes place at the same time but not in the same place. Synchronous e-learning typically involves video conferencing or teleconferencing.

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Tax Levies: Taxes imposed by local governments to fund school projects. Levies are often subject to voter approval and can be used for specific purposes, such as new construction or technology upgrades.

Technology Integration: The incorporation of technology resources, like computers and smartboards, into the physical design of classrooms and facilities.

Terrazzo: A composite material, poured in place or precast, used for floor and wall treatments. It consists of chips of marble, quartz, granite, glass, or other suitable material.

Thermal Comfort: Ensuring that the temperature and humidity levels within school facilities are maintained at comfortable levels for occupants.

Toplighting: An architectural method of using natural light to illuminate interior spaces through openings located on the top of a building, such as skylights, clerestory windows, or light tubes. Toplighting enhances indoor lighting quality, improves energy efficiency by reducing the need for artificial lighting, and can positively impact occupants' comfort and productivity.

Training and Development: Providing ongoing training and professional development opportunities for maintenance and custodial staff to enhance skills and knowledge.

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Universal Design: The design of buildings, products or environments to make them accessible to all people, regardless of age, disability, or other factors.

Utility Management: The oversight and regulation of utilities (like water, gas, and electricity) in school facilities for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

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Value Engineering: A systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products by using an examination of function. In school facility planning, it aims to optimize the project's output while minimizing costs.

VAV Box (Variable Air Volume Box): A type of heating, ventilating, and/or air-conditioning (HVAC) system that varies the airflow at a constant temperature.

Ventilation Standards: Standards set to ensure the proper circulation of fresh air within school buildings, crucial for health and comfort.

Vestibule: An anteroom or small foyer leading into a larger space, such as a lobby, entrance hall, or passage, for the purpose of waiting, admittance, or the like.

Virtual Classroom: An online learning environment that allows for live interaction between the tutor and the learners as they are participating in learning activities.

Virtual Reality (VR) in Education: The use of computer technology to create a simulated environment for educational purposes, unlike the real world.

Visitor Management System: A system for tracking and managing visitors to school facilities, often involving check-in procedures and visitor badges.

VOC: see Volatile Organic Compound

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC): Chemical compounds that easily become vapors or gases, often found in various building materials and products, impacting indoor air quality.

VR/AR (Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality): These technologies are increasingly being used in educational settings for interactive learning experiences.

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Wainscoting: Wooden paneling that lines the lower part of the walls of a room. In schools, it can be both a decorative element and a practical solution for preventing wall damage.

Water Quality Management: Ensuring that the water supply in a school is safe for consumption and use, involving regular testing and treatment as necessary.

Wayfinding Systems: Designing navigational aids within a school facility, such as signage and maps, to help people understand and navigate the space.

Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity): Refers to wireless networking technology that allows computers and other devices to communicate over a wireless signal. It's essential for providing internet access throughout the school.

Work Order Management: The process of managing requests for maintenance work, from initial request to completion and follow-up.

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Zoning (in architectural terms): The process of dividing a building into distinct areas with specific functions, which can impact the overall layout and flow of a school.

Zoning and Code Compliance: Ensuring that school facility designs comply with local zoning laws and building codes, which can impact aspects like building height, density, and use.

Zoning Laws: Regulations governing land use and building size, type, and placement within a specific area, critical to consider in the early stages of planning a new school facility.

Zoning Regulations: Local government rules that dictate how a property can be used, including restrictions and allowances for school facility construction and expansion.

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Your insights are invaluable to us! If you have suggestions for terms you'd like to see added to our glossary, please don't hesitate to share them with us. We're always looking to expand our resources to better serve your needs.