NCEF Resource List: Preventive Maintenance of School Buildings
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Information on how to maximize the useful life of school buildings through preventive maintenance, compiled by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

References to Books and Other Media

EPA: Healthy School Environments Assessment Tool, Version 2[HealthySEAT]
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2012)
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's second version of a free software tool that helps school districts evaluate and manage their school facilities for key environmental, safety, and health issues. HealthySEAT is designed to be customized and used by district-level staff to conduct voluntary self-assessments of their school facilities and to track and manage information on environmental conditions school by school. EPA has also included critical elements of all of its regulatory and voluntary programs for schools, as well as web links to more detailed information. Enhancements for Version 2 include user-defined custom checklists, custom notification letters, additional and updated reports and forms, new navigation improvements, e-mail functionality, changes in terminology, and additional documentation.

Operational Guidelines for Educational Facilities: Custodial, third edition
Bigger, Alan S. editor
(APPA, 2012)
Addresses topics including: the cost of cleaning, sustainability, determining APPA Levels of Cleanliness in buildings, and scientific measurement of cleanliness. Special sections address the cleaning of residence halls and healthcare facilities. In addition to the cleaning operations of four-year institutions, solutions for public and private K-12 facilities as well as vocational, trade, and community colleges are covered. 356p

Facility Maintenance and Repair Cost Reference 2011-12
(Whitestone Research, Nov 2011)
Provides detailed maintenance and repair costs for 75 building and utility types in all major U.S., Canadian, and international areas. Data is included for over 1,600 building components, over 30 trades, and more than 4,500 maintenance tasks. 688p

College of Central Florida Facilities Deferred Maintenance Guide. Adobe PDF
(College of Central Florida, Ocala , Mar 2011)
Details in a building-by-building format the current status of deferred maintenance at this College's campuses, including recent and planned upgrades, as well as deficient systems. 11p.

Addressing Inadequate Investment in School Facility Maintenance.
Bello, Mustapha; Loftness, Vivian
(Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh , May 2010)
The total deferred maintenance of schools in the United States was estimated at $254.6 billion in 2008. With over 94,000 public elementary, middle and high schools being attended by more than 50 million students, there is need to implement an effective method for estimating the adequate amount of investment for facility maintenance. Earlier methodologies were evaluated and a new plant value model was developed. The model also introduces a commensurate increase in annual budgets to address maintenance backlog, as well as strategies for setting maintenance priorities. Finally, to effectively maintain building conditions, appropriate custodial and maintenance staffing is analyzed for school facilities. Establishing appropriate annual maintenance budgets for school buildings, including the resources necessary to address accumulated maintenance backlog is critical for upgrading school facilities to adequate conditions for ensuring the health and performance of US teachers and students. 50p.

Building Type Basics for Elementary and Secondary Schools, 2nd Ed.
Perkins, Bradford; Bordwell, Raymond
(John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ , 2010)
Advises architects, planners, engineers, and their clients through all aspects of school facilities design. Chapters address predesign, circulation, design concerns and process, site planning, codes, sustainability, systems, technology, materials, acoustics, lighting, interiors, wayfinding, renovation, international design issues, operation and maintenance, and financing. Appendices provide sample space programs for elementary, middle, and secondary schools. The book examines technology's influence in the classroom, along with current research that shows how school buildings can impact teaching and learning. Design guidance is illustrated with school case studies, photographs, diagrams, floor plans, sections, and details. 350p.

References to Journal Articles

Q&A: Maintenance and Operations, 21st-Century Style
Kopochinski, Lisa
School Construction News; , 1p ; Apr 2012
Interview with Ken Wertz, director of maintenance and operations of the Sharon Public Schools District in Massachusetts and president of the Massachusetts Facilities Administrators Associations, who discusses maintenance and operations challenges with older school buildings, energy efficiency, and preventive maintenance strategies.

A Wrench in the Works
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; , p26-28 ; Mar 2012
Discusses mechanical system maintenance, including conducting assessments that identify various maintenance needs such as recommissioning, carrying out inspections as well as preventive and corrective maintenance, and retraining maintenance technicians.

Maintaining Sustainability for Green Schools.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; Oct 2011
To achieve sustainability in facilities, schools and universities need to establish an effective maintenance program that will help most facilities operate efficiently and last longer. Describes making a maintenance plan and collecting building data.

A Pending Disaster.
Moore, Deborah
School Planning and Management; v50 n8 , p6 ; Aug 2011
Quotes statistics on excess deferred maintenance of schools and warns against disastrous results if maintenance is not properly funded.

Toward a Philosophy of School Maintenance: Taking a Proactive Approach.
Moore, J.P.
School Planning and Management; v50 n8 , p23,24 ; Aug 2011
Emphasizes the role of school building maintenance in promoting education and protecting the community's investment. Preventive and proactive maintenance are discussed, as well as the link between properly maintained facilities and learning.

What Constitutes Maintenance?
Becker, Thomas
Facilities Manager; v27 n4 , p14-17 ; Jul-Aug 2011
Documents philosophy of best use of maintenace staff and equipment to achieve goals of preventing a physical plant from becoming a liability. Building inventory must maintain ability to function as intended, remain safe and legal, and have a life perpetuated to the greatest extent possible.

Stretching Energy Dollars for Healthy Schools.
Angerame, Timothy
American School and University; v83 n10 , p28-31 ; Jun 2011
Introduces comprehensive monitoring-based commissioning (MBCx), a process to ensure that all building systems are "in tune." Its three components are: permanent energy information systems and diagnostic tools at the whole-building and sub-system level, retro-commissioning based on the data this generates, and ongoing commissioning that ensures efficient building operations and measurement-based savings accounting. Particular attention is given to the importance to a well-maintained chiller.

Maintenance Needs.
Errickson, Paul
American School and University; v83 n8 , p24,26,-28 ; May 2011
Demonstrates that life-cycle cost value practices lead to reduced maintenance because of use of superior materials and the ability to anticipate a schedule and costs of major repairs and maintenance.

Construction Trends.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v83 n9 , p16-18,20,22.23 ; May 2011
Discusses a slight overall decline in student enrollment beginning in the 2007, even while some regions still experience growth. Districts with funding available are focusing on maintenance and renovation projects, since new classrooms are not needed. In some cases, instructional space was recently constructed that is already not needed.

Security: A Matter of Performance. [Door Hardware: Focus on Security]
Westerkamp, Thomas
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n5 , p27,28 ; May 2011
Advises on door maintenance, listing the parts of a door assembly in need of preventive maintenance, typical problems that prevent proper door function, lock maintenance, and electronic door access.

Proactive Maintenance.
Cook, Richard; Stieve, Douglas
School Planning and Management; v50 n3 , p41,42,44,45 ; Mar 2011
Encourages and gives guidelines for proactive roof maintenance. Biannual inspections and routine maintenance will extend the life expectancy of the roofing system. A management plan is included, with topics such as use of high quality materials and adding insulation, and use of a roofing consultant.

Infrared Imaging: Tracking the Evolution.
Sirmans, David
Maintenance Solutions; v19 n3 , p13,14 ; Mar 2011
Discusses the evolution of infrared detection of facilities issues, with a rapid progress to less expensive, smaller, lighter, and more technologically advanced machines. It is now possible, even advisable, to train in-house staff on the use of this technology, rather than to hire outside contractors.

Integrate Your Plans for Energy and Maintenance.
O'Donnell, Patrick
Buildings; v104 n12 , p40-44 ; Dec 2010
Advises on the collateral planning for energy conservation and HVAC maintenance. Routine HVAC maintenance procedures that can save energy are described and mandated.

Building Envelopes: A One-Two Punch. [Component Inspections and Replacement.]
Piper, James
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n9 , p14,15 ; Sep 2010
Advises on inspection of building envelopes, discussing what to look for and how often. Opportunities for more efficient and more aesthetically pleasing replacements when exterior components reach the end of their lives is also addressed.

Under Pressure.
Leiss, Dan
Facility Management Journal; v20 n4 , p36,38-40 ; Jul-Aug 2010
Advises on the maintenance of pressure washers, which can last many more years than they typically do if properly cleaned and maintained. Instrutions on rinsing out cleaning compounds, oiling, checking hoses, inspecting tires, and cleaning air filters are described, as well as winterizing during long periods of disuse.

Healthy Drains Lead to a Healthy Environment.
Schauff, John
American School and Hospital Facility; v33 n4 , p10,12,13 ; Jul-Aug 2010
Discusses sources of drain odors and clogs, with recommendations on how to remove them without the use of chemicals that are a threat to the environment or sewer system.

Maintaining Student Performance.
Fickes, Michael
School Planning and Management; v49 n6 , p26,28,30 ; Jun 2010
Describes how proper maintenance of school HVAC systems contributes to educational achievement through better air quality and thermal comfort. An example of preventive maintenance on systems in the Round Rock (Texas) School District illustrates many procedures, their respective costs, and benefits.

Preserve and Conserve.
Gregerson, John
Buildings; v104 n6 , p76-78 ; Jun 2010
Discusses standards and procedures for HVAC system inspection and predictive maintenance that are designed to save energy. In-house versus outsourced work is also addressed.

Operating Efficiently.
Kennedy, Mike
American School and University; v82 n11 , p24-27 ; Jun 2010
Discusses prudent use of maintenance resources in times of strained budgets. Preventive and predictive maintenance is recommended over a run-to-failure or reactive approach, which can create expensive emergencies that may not be fundable. Elements of preventive and predictive maintenance are addressed, as is computerized maintenance management.

Self Control Is Secret to Energy Savings.
Millan, Naomi
Building Operating Management; v57 n6 , p65,66,68,70,71 ; Jun 2010
Provides technical advice to make case that rigorous maintenance of existing facilities can be as effective as upgrading to new systems.

Motor Management: Powerful Benefits.
Piper, James
Maintenance Solutions; v18 n2 , p7,8 ; Feb 2010
Discusses building motor management programs that reduce repairs and service interruptions. Elements of the program include regular testing while the motor is online, and software programs for this function are advised. Suggestions for convincing building owners to invest in such a program are provided.

Take Good Care of Building Facades.
Wiscons, Michael
Buildings; v104 n2 , p340,42 ; Feb 2010
Advises on attention to mortar erosion, cracking, spalling, and efflorescence, as well as deteriorating lintels and parapets, all of which contribute to the degradation of the building envelope.

A Growing Problem.
Wiens, Janet
College Planning and Management; v13 n1 , p24-26 ; Jan 2010
Discusses the increase of deferred maintenance on higher education campuses. The glamour discrepancy between maintenance versus new construction, the difference between deferred maintenance and renewal of buildings, and a team approach to increasing workload and diminishing budgets are addressed.



Due to lack of funding, the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities is currently available only as an archived site. As of September 1, 2012 no new content will be added or updates made. We regret the need to take such steps, but should funding become available, we look forward to reinvigorating NCEF and providing this valuable resource to the educational facilities community.

If you have questions or are an organization or company wishing to support the continued operation of this industry recognized resource please contact Institute President Henry Green (, 202-289-7800).