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Safe Environments Pilot Program

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immeasurable impact on our communities, not least of which, a lack of confidence in the safety of our community outreach centers, businesses, schools, and modes of transit necessary for returning to work and school. The presence of airborne and surface pathogens outside the home is creating fear and uncertainty throughout the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (the DMV) population over whether our environments are safe. The question is, how do we begin to address the issue and facilitate a safe return to these vital spaces?

Connected DMV, an initiatives-based, charitable 501(c)(3) organization that works with regional organizations across the DMV, has kicked off a Safe Environments pilot program in order to instill public confidence in the health and safety of where we live, work and play. Connected DMV’s mission is to drive ongoing improvements to social, digital, and physical infrastructure and focuses on initiatives that span local jurisdictions and require public-private-academia-community collaboration to best achieve the dual objectives of enduring economic health and social equity.

In partnership with cutting-edge solution providers, Connected DMV is leveraging innovations in UV lighting, HVAC systems, surface coatings, and diagnostics to restore confidence in the health safety environments of critical facilities, community centers and transportation systems. As the initiative leader, Connected DMV is coordinating the identification of pilot locations, arranging for the evaluation of deployment sites, facilitating and seeking grant funding for the sites, overseeing the installation of solutions, evaluating the efficacy of the mitigation technology and telling the story of the efforts so that residents can develop greater confidence in the safety of our community.  

Additionally, Connected DMV is assisting in the incorporation of clean technologies in new building design and construction by engaging with developers, property managers and design firms in studying environmental safety standards for buildings that have been inconsistent across jurisdictions and challenging for the public to understand. Further, the Safe Environments initiative is exploring how entities are incentivized to upgrade facility management contracts to utilize highly effective innovation.    

Accelerated deployments for the initiative will span eight weeks, with priority for community outreach centers, and education such as a K-12 school, a place of worship, food bank, and a senior living community. These pilot projects will improve public awareness and confidence regarding environmental risk and mitigation, accelerate and reduce the recovery period, and increase readiness in the event of future pandemics. 

Where can this community come together and assist in this important endeavor? We are looking for organizations that can be potential roll-out locations to express interest in participating in the pilot. We want to hear from you and the organization how capacity regulations are formulated, and if the efficacy of clean-tech can be demonstrated, is there a way to increase capacity limits in these businesses? If you are interested in contributing to a multi-jurisdiction multi-discipline working group to discuss standardizing clean-tech and to brainstorm ways on how to advocate for regulatory relief, please reach out to Carrie Parker, AIA at [email protected], a current co-chair of the Buildings and Urban Design Solutions Group with Connected DMV.

For more information please visit https://www.connecteddmv.org/

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