It might not be surprising to hear that students in run-down school buildings tend to have lower test scores and higher rates of absenteeism compared to students with access to better facilities. But a new study finds that the buildings themselves might be partly to blame.

In a June study of 236 New York City middle schools, Cornell University professor Lorraine Maxwell found that building conditions strongly influence a school’s social climate. Physical problems recorded at the schools — including a lack of windows, low indoor air quality, leaking roofs and water stains — were correlated with students’ negative perception of their schools’ social climate. In turn, students in the problem-plagued schools were less likely to go to school, and their high absenteeism resulted in lower test scores.

The study, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, used Department of Education data on the buildings’ physical condition and student surveys on social climate, controlling for students’ race and socioeconomic status. According to Maxwell, building conditions and the subsequent negative perception of social climate explained about 70 percent of the variation in test scores between schools.

“If schools looked better, then kids would come more,” Maxwell said. “When buildings are cared for, students and teachers think, ‘What happens here is important, and what we’re doing is important.’”

Past research has also shown a relationship between school conditions and student perceptions of self-worth or how much the school values its students, two factors that can discourage attendance.

BY ANNIE MA  - JULY 25, 2016

DALTON, Ga. – Dec. 20, 2016 – Architectural Products, a leading trade magazine for commercial architects and designers, has named J+J Flooring Group a recipient of its 2016 Product Innovation Awards.  Receiving the award in the Industry Leadership category, judges cited J+J as a floor covering innovator in conservation for its zero waste to landfill (ZWL) achievement. 

Now in its sixth year, the awards seek to champion product ingenuity in the built environment. The Industry Leadership award recognizes outstanding leadership in the form of exceptional educational efforts, R+D efforts, sustainability efforts, and/or architectural tools/services.

Earlier this year, J+J received ZWL recertification from GreenCircle LLC., continuing its industry leading position. 

A judge’s comment accompanying a write-up about J+J in the magazine’s November issue, where all 2016 PIA Award winners are featured, stated:  “This company puts its money where its mouth is when it comes to waste management and product after-life.  I applaud their efforts.  Such a program stands as a model for the rest of the products industry.”

“We are honored to be selected for this prestigious award. It’s gratifying to have our ZWL achievement held up as a model for other manufacturers to aspire to and have it recognized by experts in the design industry,” said J+J Flooring Group Director of Environmental Innovation Russ Delozier.

During the 2015-2016 audit time period with GreenCircle, J+J diverted more than 5.2 million pounds of waste from local area landfills.  The company achieved this by recycling 3.8 million pounds, reusing 802,000 pounds and sending 605,000 pounds of material waste to Covanta, the country’s largest energy-from-waste operator.

GreenCircle’s certification covers J+J’s waste diversion at its Dalton, Ga., corporate campus, which includes both its manufacturing and administrative offices totaling 950,000 square feet.  In addition to industrial and manufacturing waste, the company diverts waste from all bathrooms, break areas, offices, conference rooms and design studios.

According to the magazine, J+J’s entry was evaluated by a panel of qualified jurors who are recognized for their expertise in the design industry. More than 40 industry professionals were recruited for this task.

J+J Flooring Group began landfill reduction efforts nearly 25 years ago.  This and other critical sustainability goals are being met through the company’s strategic 20/20 Vision, a roadmap articulating the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility and how key environmental goals will be achieved by 2020. 

For information, visit or call 800-241-4586.

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About J+J Flooring Group

Established in 1957, J+J Flooring Group is a leading manufacturer of commercial specified flooring.  With our two brands - Invision broadloom and modular carpet and Kinetex textile composite flooring - we provide a range of product and service solutions to meet the needs of our customers in the corporate workplace, education, healthcare, retail and hospitality sectors. 


In 2016, J+J Flooring Group joined Engineered Floors, LLC. Based in Dalton, Ga., Engineered Floors is a privately held carpet producer founded in 2010 by Robert E. Shaw. The company, which employs more than 2,800 people, produces stain-resistant and colorfast solution dyed nylon and polyester fiber and carpeting for residential replacement, new home builder, multi-family and main street commercial applications. To learn more visit,

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(December 1, 2016) Patrick Glenn, AIA, REFP, LEED AP, Principal, is the K12 Regional Practice Leader for Perkins+Will has been selected to serve as Membership Chair for the A4LE Southern Region! Patrick has just recently served as President (2015-2016) and is the current Past-President (2016-2017) for the A4LE North Texas Chapter, while also being selected to serve on the board for the Southern Region. This is a great leadership and service opportunity as he continues to find ways to enhance the learning environments we design.

Patrick had served as a repeat design jurist for the School of Architecture at Oklahoma State University and continues to mentor young professionals in the classroom and the workplace. Patrick is a regular author and conference presenter on the subject of innovative, sustainable school planning strategies that facilitate higher student performance and collaborative learning. Patrick is also currently a Board Member for the Dallas Center for Architecture and is the co-creator and current committee chairman for the DCFA’s Form Follows Fitness 5K, which has raised over $100,000 to support the foundation’s mission of promoting the public’s understanding of the role of design and architecture in our daily lives.

Heery International’s David Waggoner, the National Market Leader for Heery’s K-12 Program Management services received an A4LE Fellow award at the Association for Learning Environments’ annual International Conference.  The A4LE Fellowship Award is considered one of the most distinguished honors conferred by the Association. Members who have provided exemplary contributions to the Association over their many years of service are the most respected members of the Association for Learning Environments community. They represent the mark of excellence in the industry in which they serve and are widely recognized as those members that have advanced the association and its mission.

Waggoner is a 26-year veteran of Heery and is a nationally recognized thought leader in the K-12 market. He is the former Chair of the International Board of Directors of the Association of Learning Environments. Through his work, speaking engagements and authorship of industry articles, Waggoner has been able to capture the attention of the K-12 industry.

Archinect (Nicholas Korody) - When you think of game theory, you might imagine numbers scrawled with a wax pencil on a pane of glass by a troubled genius—calculations extrapolating order out of the apparent chaos of human activity. After all, that’s pretty much how it goes in A Beautiful Mind, the biopic of the mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., a major contributor to the field.

But game theory isn’t just the domain of high-minded academics; it has very real and practical applications, including for architectural design. I talked with the London-based firm Mzo Tarr about their use of game theory in “every aspect of the design process”...Game theory, or “the mathematical study of decision-making between people in situations of conflict or cooperation” as Tarr defines it, is integral to their practice. Just about every design project involves a variety of parties—the client, planners, neighbours, investors—whose interests may not necessarily align.

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Volume 26/Spring 2017 

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