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Effective and Innovative Practices

APPA’s Effective & Innovative Practices Award recognizes programs and processes that enhance service delivery, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer service, generate revenue, or otherwise benefit the educational institution. Award nomination entries must describe either a new program or significant restructuring of an existing program or process. Recipients will receive special recognition on both APPA’s website and in APPA’s Facilities Manager magazine.


Projects displaying a high level of innovation and adaptability/transferability for implementation at other schools have the best chance of being favorably ranked. Up to 3 submissions are selected per group. Groups include:

  • 4 year, public institutions or private institutions
  • Community College
  • K-12

Entries are judged on a point system based on:

  • Institutional Benefit (100 pts)
    • Describe how the initiative directly benefits the institution and its constituents. Provide the extent of the benefit and documented results and outcomes. The results must be factual and supported by data.
  • Innovativeness, Creativity, and Originality (300 pts)
    • Describe in detail the level of innovation and creativity involved with the initiative. Describe how this initiative is unique and original and what differentiates it from other similar efforts. Document the efforts to benchmark and determine the originality of the concept.
  • Portability and Resiliency (300 pts)
    • To be worthy of recognition the initiative must be portable to other institutions without drastic alterations or cost. It should be easy to implement without extensive customization.
  • Management Commitment and Employee Involvement (150 pts)
    • Describe the level of management commitment and the alignment with institutional goals. Provide information on the involvement of stakeholder groups and the participation of employees at all levels of the organization.
  • Documentation, Analysis, Customer Input, and Benchmarking (150 pts)
    • Information analysis is used to evaluate performance and drive future performance improvements. Of interest are the types of tools used (peer comparative data such as benchmarking) and how the tools are used to enhance the success of the effective practice. Documentation should be factual, clear, logical, and well-developed. The analysis must be clear and well-documented. Customer and stakeholder involvement would be described for each step of development and implementation. Benchmarks should establish experiences for others and help to define the originality of the practice.

Past Recipients


  • California State University East Bay (Facilities Development and Operations [FD&O] Partners/Ambassadors)











  • California State University Northridge (Student Design Team Program)
  • Purdue University (Building Services Sustainability Program)
  • University of Iowa (University of Iowa Energy Hawks)
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte (Take It or Leave It Tour)
  • University of Southern California (Maintenance Parts and Materials Process Reengineering Case Study)





  • Brown University (Safety Fair)
  • Bryn Mawr College (An Innovative and Collaborative Approach to Storm Water Management)
  • California State University San Bernardino (Comprehensive Energy Services Master Enabling Agreement)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Building Services Customer Achievement Program Award)
  • University of British Columbia (In-Vessel Composting Facility and Organics Collection Program)


  • University of British Columbia UBC Campus Sustainability Office Sustainability Coordinator Program)
  • University of Hartford (Resident Facility Assistant)
  • University of Iowa (Biomass Fuel Project)
  • University of Miami (How the University of Miami’s Facilities Administration Department Uses Customized Financial Reports to Manage Costs)
  • University of Victoria (Water Reuse Initiative)


  • Brigham Young University (Capital Needs Analysis)
  • Dallas Theological Seminary (An Army of One: Multi-Department Development of Custodial Services Training Video)
  • Illinois State University (A Town and Gown Effort That Turns Bulk, Wood Waste Into Savings)
  • Penn State University (Trash to Treasure)
  • Queensland University of Technology (Facilities Condition Audit)