REHS Receives Silver Standard of Excellence Healthy Facilities Award

Published On: May 8, 2018

Residence Education and Housing Services (REHS) was recently awarded the Silver Standard of Excellence Healthy Facilities Award from the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) in collaboration with School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management magazines. 

“We are just so honored to be awarded the Silver Award. We don’t do what we do for the awards, but it is nice to be recognized,” said Paul Manson, associate director for planning and preventative maintenance for RHS Planning and Projects Office.

HFI recognition is for school and college programs fostering healthy indoor environments with major human impacts, giving regular, consistent attention to nine basic health factors:

  1. Indoor Air Quality
  2. Chemical Exposure
  3. Water Quality
  4. Sound Levels
  5. Lighting
  6. Cleaning, Disinfecting
  7. Sanitizing and Food service
  8. Integrated Pest Management
  9. Body Matters (musculoskeletal, strains, slips/falls)

This program recognizes colleges and universities serving anywhere from a few thousand students to Michigan State University’s 17,500 students. The School Planning & Management praises the 2018 winners for their efforts, regardless of their size.

“Schools recognized this year range from very small to very large,” noted the School Planning & Safety Magazine. “All face challenges, but all are progressive, and are meeting obstacles head-on with action, as shown in the bulleted highlights [in the article].”

Some of the ways that REHS meets its facilities challenges: 

  • Filtered bottle-fill stations throughout campus 
  • A LEED certified HVAC system and a fluid-working indoor air quality system 
  • Mandatory training for full-time employees
  • Robust indoor air quality program (IAQ), including preventative maintenance and filter changes
  • Green cleaning policy and program 
  • An integrated pest management program
  • Extensive use of entry mats at residence halls to reduce contaminants entering buildings
  • Security: cameras in residences halls, card access systems, background checks, etc.

These are just a few major accomplishments HFI identified. Manson acknowledges that this award could not be accomplished without every team member’s active involvement.

“It is the work of everyone that made this possible. Often times, our team members who clean bathrooms, take out the trash or vacuum the halls feel like they aren’t making a difference. They are,” he said. “We could not have done it without them.”

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