Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Enhancing Indoor Air Quality with CRI-Certified Carpet Care Equipment

This article was originally published in Building Services Management

By: Scott Keller
Vertical Marketing Manager, Nilfisk-Advance

Protecting the health and safety of a facility and its occupants is one of the key challenges of a building services manager. This requires them to keep their building looking clean, visually appealing and, above all, improve the facility’s indoor air quality (IAQ). IAQ can be impacted from many types of dust particles, inside and out. Dust inside a building is present in a wide range of forms, from bacteria and allergens to paper dust and mold. Fine particles, such as asbestos and coal dust also add to dust generation. Dust from outside a facility, such as pollen, pesticides, fertilizers and other natural environmental toxins can also penetrate a building, which adds to poor IAQ.

Building services managers can combat dust particles with carpet cleaning equipment designed to effectively contain dust particles and remove soil while providing efficient, sustainable performance. When selecting carpet care equipment, cleaning professionals turn to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), which rates machines on their ability to remove soil, contain dust and retain quality carpet appearance.

A CRI Seal of Approval on a vacuum indicates the machine meets specific standards for operation and performance. Equipment manufacturers voluntarily submit their carpet care models for the Carpet and Rug Institute’s independent testing. An independent board of scientists reviews the test results and recommends whether to certify the machine. The CRI testing program certifies machine performance in three areas: soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention.

Results from all three tests are peer reviewed by experts in the field of maintenance and indoor air quality to assure their validity.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Living and Cleaning Green

While green cleaning typically involves practices aimed at reducing chemical, water and energy use, it also means finding new ways to clean quickly and easily—saving time and money. Adding sustainability goals to green cleaning results in a program that is also designed to help maintain the life of the building so that floor surfaces (and many other components) have the longest possible useful lives—which, in turn, minimizes resource consumption and waste stream contributions.

As the industry's floor cleaning equipment expert, Advance is right where you'd expect us to the forefront of green cleaning innovation and technology. We support the growing movement to reduce the environmental impact of cleaning and improve the quality of life. That's why we're providing you with the information and floor cleaning equipment you need to clean green.

Green cleaning doesn't just mean reducing impact on the environment. It means finding new ways to clean quickly and easily, while saving time and money. For example, our quieter floor machines allow cleaning during business hours, thus reducing overtime hours and cost. Our floor cleaning equipment features ergonomic design that reduces worker fatigue. Through product innovation and an understanding of our customers' green cleaning efforts; we have developed the most complete line of green floor cleaning machines in the industry, including commercial vacuums, carpet extractors, and burnishers. For a closer look at how Advance defines and delivers green cleaning, download our Green Cleaning Equipment brochure. We also have a variety of other green resources, including more information on regulations and standards and sustainability.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Facility Manager's Guide to LEED-EB O&M Rating System

This article was originally published in Maintenance Solutions. 

By Ryan T. Evans, P.E.

Since 1998, maintenance and engineering managers have had a valuable metric for measuring the greenness of their institutional and commercial buildings. The U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system for new construction and major renovation projects. As a result, it really was not suited for evaluating the greenness of existing buildings. To resolve this issue, the USGBC released the first version of LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) in 2004. This rating system provided a comprehensive set of prerequisites and credits designed around a building's maintenance and operations functions. It was less concerned with design and construction.

Although a new version of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) is expected next year, the current version of this rating system – the 2009 edition – is rife with manager- and operator-driven tasks that focus on optimizing a department's operational performance and reducing its environmental footprint.

Managers in all types of facilities can benefit their departments by examining the key elements of LEED-EB O&M, as well as the process for planning a building certification. Whether or not managers choose to pursue full certification, they can use key elements of the rating system to identify low-hanging fruit — steps toward sustainability that are readily achievable with minimal investment of resources.

Read the full article here for an extensive overview of the rating system.