Green Cleaning Audit Checklist

Businesses and individuals speak all the time about the desire to “go green,” or implement environmentally-friendly practices and infrastructure. This is usually referenced in the context of normal business processes, but is often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning facilities and their contents is a necessary part of safe and healthy business operation, and should not be partitioned from other procedures. If you are unsure how to make your custodial practices more sustainable, then it is time to audit them and find out.

The first and easiest thing you can do to examine your business’s cleaning is to look at the products you use. Are there expired or unnecessarily toxic materials in your facility’s janitorial closet? Keep in mind the size of the rooms and the ventilation system when selecting products. Some cleaning agents require more open space to be safe, while others suit denser environments.

Don’t forget to look at your equipment, either. Use machines that are efficient with water and power, and that can target dirty areas most precisely. Service them regularly; leaks and clogs erase efficiency.

Finally, once you know what you need, follow through. Make the necessary changes to ensure that things are being done correctly, and stick to them. Sustainable cleaning is about forming good habits and you’ll be glad you did, both in terms of time and money.

MaintenX believes in green cleaning procedures and we want to help as many businesses as possible develop them. Our technicians are environmentally conscious and all our janitorial services are up to standard; join us. Feel free to contact us at any time to learn more about the services that we offer and how we can assist your business in going green.

Why Lighting Levels Matter

Lighting levels are an important, yet often overlooked, part of facility management. If incorrectly controlled, they can increase energy costs and decrease productivity. Here are some reasons why lighting levels matter, and what you can do as a business owner or facility manager to optimize them.

A facility’s lighting affects its sustainability: the idea that a building should utilize the minimum amount of energy possible and, ideally, generate energy to offset what it does use. It’s good for the environment and the business, as lower energy usage means lower utility costs. Turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, or installing motion-activated lights, can help. Alternatively, install skylights to allow natural lighting to enter the room, instead of using electricity.

On the flipside, poorly-lit workspaces can negatively influence employee productivity; low light accelerates eye strain and decreases attentiveness. Dimmer switches allow you to set lighting precisely, at that happy medium.

MaintenX can help any business determine the optimal lighting strategy for their space. Our Energy Assessments will analyze your power use, then our technicians can install or reconfigure according to your needs. To learn more about how we can work with you, please contact us at any time.

Tech Innovations with Big Implications for Facilities

New technologies are a great way for business leaders to improve performance and reduce costs. Innovation is booming, especially in the critical digital and energy sectors. Two emerging technologies being adopted in an increasing number of facilities could shake up how they run: piezoelectric power generation and Li-Fi.

Piezoelectric generation works because of the piezoelectric effect: the ability of certain materials to generate electricity when subjected to physical pressure. By placing piezoelectric material under the flooring in areas with high foot traffic, electricity is generated passively from people simply walking around. The energy is stored in graphene batteries, and then dispersed throughout the facility. It may sound too good to be true, but this kind of technology is already being employed in numerous large facilities, including the main concourse and playing field of Mercedes Benz Stadium, home of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

Li-Fi, as the name suggests, is an alternative to Wi-Fi that transmits data through light waves instead of radio waves. It works by turning LED lights on and off very rapidly in a method similar to Morse Code. Li-Fi is faster than Wi-Fi, but Wi-Fi still predominates because it can encompass larger areas and penetrate walls. Li-Fi is more secure as well, since it does not cause any radio interference.

Both piezoelectric generation and Li-Fi could have huge implications for efficiency, productivity, and cost savings at facilities everywhere. To learn how the technicians of MaintenX can help you and your business explore and install these and other types of equipment, please contact us at any time.

Top 10 Energy Efficient Cities Across the Globe

The pursuit of energy efficiency is not isolated to the United States. Cities around the world are stepping up by reducing energy costs and usage, and five of the top 10 most efficient cities are in the US. It is encouraging that so many international companies are becoming more effective at cutting energy waste, and American corporations continue to join the trend.

As of a recent study, the most energy-efficient city in the world is Reykjavik, Iceland. It takes advantage of its renewable energy resources, mainly hydropower and geothermal energy. By using renewables that cause little to no pollution, Reykjavik has secured a sustainable energy future. The next three cities on the list, Vancouver (hydropower), Copenhagen (wind power, bikes, and green roofs), and Oslo (bio-methane and intelligent lights) are similarly committed to sustainability.

London holds the number five spot, with Malmo, Sweden following closely behind it. American cities currently round out the list: Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles.

These cities have worked hard to achieve spots on the top 10, but they’re not the only ones who’ve achieved strong sustainability; it’s a global race to the top that benefits everyone.

Every business and commercial facility can become more efficient and sustainable. MaintenX can help every step of the way, in assessment, planning, and implementation. Let us help you become your community’s leader in sustainability! Contact us any time.

Top 10 Energy Efficient Cities in America

Business owners love energy efficiency; it’s good for the environment as well as the bottom line. Though an increasing number of companies across the country are altering their equipment and practices to become more energy efficient, there are a few cities that really excel. Here is the Top-10 list, based on a scale developed by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Currently, the most energy-efficient city in the United States is Boston, Massachusetts. Truly taking the initiative to improve, Boston propelled itself to the top spot with the Renew Boston initiative and a focus on green buildings. The runner-up city is New York City, followed by Seattle. Tied for fourth place are Los Angeles and Portland; Austin is sixth, then Chicago, Washington, D.C., and finally Denver and San Francisco tied for ninth.

These cities all increased efficiency through public policy, whether Los Angeles’s Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency program or San Diego’s Climate Action Plan. But if your city hasn’t implemented such an initiative, that’s no reason not to act! Lead by example to become more sustainable; it’ll save you money and help the environment. Call MaintenX; we provide services like our Energy Assessment that’ll help you optimize the way you use resources. For more information, please contact us any time.

Better Building Initiative Saves Partners $1.9 Billion

A new initiative is sweeping the nation, succeeding in its goal of saving businesses money by helping them save energy. This bodes well for business owners and facility managers that are looking to make their facilities more sustainable.

The Better Buildings Challenge, issued by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), aims to make commercial and industrial facilities use less power by increasing their energy efficiency. More than 345 organizations and companies of all sizes have jumped on board. Combined, they represent more than 4.4 billion square feet of building space. By instituting more environmentally-friendly practices in these facilities, major progress can be made for the country overall.

It works by offering tools including implementation models, a financing navigator, webinars, and others to share good ideas and make sustainable choices easy. The results certainly show. Since the initiative’s launch, an estimated $1.9 billion has been saved in energy costs and usage. Some companies have even exceeded their goals of efficiency, including large corporations like General Motors and Macy’s.

Your business can join this initiative and accomplish what so many have already. By implementing the available solutions in your own facilities, you can cut down on energy costs, save your business money, and help save the environment as well.

We at MaintenX support the Better Building Challenge and want to help you and your business engage with it however we can. To learn about how we can help assess the energy usage in your facility, pinpoint areas of improvement, and help implement new equipment and processes, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Why Fall is the Best Time to Schedule HVAC Installation and Maintenance

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units are some of the most important pieces of equipment in a facility. Without a properly functioning HVAC system, employees and customers will feel uncomfortable. In places with more uncomfortable climates, business will suffer as a result; if no one wants to work in or shop in your building, nothing will get done or sold. Pursuant to that, it is important to properly maintain these systems, and there is no better time to get on this than in fall.

Because they represent temperature extremes, summer and winter see the heaviest use of HVAC systems. Usage decreases in the fall, making it an ideal time to install a new system or perform maintenance on your existing one. If HVAC downtime is necessary, your business can best bear it in autumn.

The maintenance should be both forward and backward-looking. After summer’s heavy use, parts may have worn down or come loose. Inspecting them will prevent system breakdown later on. As well, however, months of disuse may have similarly deteriorated heating elements. Fix them thoroughly for a worry-free heated building during the winter.

We at MaintenX know the importance of a functioning HVAC system and want to ensure your facility has one. To schedule an inspection, installation, or repair this fall, please contact us anytime.

Why your Sales Team is Critical for Facility Management

While the title of facility manager may only belong to one person in a company, it takes a team to successfully operate a business facility. Even though they might not be the most obvious partners, the sales team is an important ally for successful facility management.

The sales team helps fuel the rest of the facility as they help influence the amount of income being generated. Without steady revenue generation, it becomes difficult to sustain the manpower and resources needed for success. Therefore, it is important to enlist a highly-skilled sales team the knows the value of your service or product.

Conversely, if the sales team is ineffective at bringing in new customers, then there will be more downtime for employees, which wastes time and resources. If the sales team promises more than they can deliver on, either in quantity or the wrong kinds of good and services, it becomes difficult to meet the demand, taxing your equipment and human capital. It is therefore important for the sales team to understand the capacity and capability of your facility and employees. They can then tailor their sales approach to maximize what your facility offers.

Part of being a strong facility is equipping the sales team and the rest of the staff with the tools and technology they need for success. At MaintenX, we are able to help you with any facility maintenance needs. To learn more about the services we offer and how we can work with you, please contact us today.

5 Ways Facility Managers Can Reduce Expenses

Facility maintenance can be a tough business. Facility managers must make the necessary repairs, upgrades, and preventative maintenance to keep a building running while staying within a budget. This may sound tricky, but there are a number of things facility managers can do to reduce unnecessary costs.

Energy Efficiency

One of the simplest ways to reduce expenses is to cut down on power and utility bills. How can you use less power and water? By installing appliances and systems that are designed to be energy efficient, less power will be expended. While there is an upfront cost to installing systems like motion-sensor lighting, reduced flow faucets, or improved insulation, your reduced utility usage can save you money in the long run.

Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is the scheduling of regular inspections and small repairs to your equipment and facility. This is an excellent and very effective way to reduce expenses. By making small repairs, you can help reduce the need for large, emergency repairs should equipment or the facility breakdown. Moreover, failures create downtime, which can result in additional loss of profits.

Safety first

Safety procedures are an important part of any cost-reduction plan. Creating a culture of safety will help reduce the likelihood of worker’s compensation claims or equipment failure due to mishandling. Keeping your workforce safe is good for productivity and your bottom line.

Automated Processes

Technological advancements are helping to create a number of automated processes for all types of businesses. Whether it is new machinery, software, or workflows, automated processes can help you work at a fraction of normal speed. Staying on top of industry advancements can help reduce your overall costs.

A Maintenance Team You Can Trust

Many facilities have their own maintenance personnel that handles projects around the facility, including repairs and upgrades. If you do have your own, then training them to be as efficient as possible is always the ideal, but if you do not, then it is vital to work with a maintenance team that you can trust.

MaintenX aspires to be your trusted maintenance team. We have the skills and experience needed to help you with facility management and cost reduction. To learn more about the specific services that we offer, please contact us today.

Why Schools Need to Focus on Sustainability

Building sustainability is the idea that a building or facility should have as little impact on human health and the environment as possible. This can be through energy and water efficiency, reducing waste, and improving indoor air quality. School buildings are beginning to focus more on sustainability, and there are a number of important reasons they continue to do so.

The first reason why school buildings should be designed with sustainability in mind is because it helps create a better internal environment for all those inside. Sustainable buildings include better air flow, lighting, and temperature controls, which in turn makes students, teachers, and faculty more comfortable. This makes it easier for students and teachers to focus on learning, the main goal of the school.

Secondly, a sustainable school building uses fewer resources, leading to lower energy and utility costs. With less water and electricity being used, water and power bills go down, leaving more resources to be used elsewhere. Saving money is always a good thing, especially for a school where funding may be limited.

Finally, having a sustainable school building helps preserve the environment, allowing schools lead by example when teaching students to be eco-conscious. By using fewer resources and generating less waste, schools can set a standard for environmental friendliness. This is a message that certainly should be passed on to the next generation.

There are many benefits to sustainable school buildings. Implementing even minor changes can be beneficial for many years to come. To learn about how MaintenX can help your school building become more sustainable or assist with any of your other maintenance needs, please contact us today.