Facility Management Archives

Keep America Beautiful Focuses On Cigarette Litter

Keep America Beautiful Focuses On Cigarette Litter

Intensifying its efforts to combat one of America’s largest and most persistent litter problems through education and action, Keep America Beautiful® announced today the expansion of its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. The intensified efforts will include significant public awareness advertising by Keep America Beautiful. Research conducted during the development of the program indicated a fundamental awareness problem; many smokers do not consider tossing cigarette butts to be a form of littering. Many smokers and non-smokers alike believe that the butts are biodegradable. In fact, the filter is made of cellulose acetate – a plastic that does not easily degrade under normal conditions. The expanded efforts will also provide additional resources for communities that implement the program, and will refine the program to include solutions for parks, beaches and recreation areas. Facility managers interested in reducing cigarette litter in and around their buildings can request a free CD-ROM Guide to the program through the Keep America Beautiful Web site. “Cigarette butts are the most-littered item in America, representing nearly 30% of all items documented in our clean-up initiatives,” said Keep America Beautiful president G. Raymond Empson. “Aggressively addressing this growing problem is essential to our organization’s mission of improving communities through litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification. We’re looking forward to expanding our Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in 2006.” The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program addresses the issue by integrating four proven approaches: enforcing litter laws that include cigarette litter; raising awareness about the issue using public service messages; placement of ash receptacles at transition points such as entrances to public buildings or transit; and distribution of pocket ashtrays. Keep America Beautiful offers the following advice to businesses and other organizations: Provide employees and visitors with ash receptacles at all entry points. These transition points are the places smokers need to discard their cigarettes before entering the building. Once installed, these ash receptacles need to be monitored and maintained regularly. Smokers will become accustomed to using these receptacles and you may need to add more to control the cigarette litter.


Turner Construction: Costs Expected To Rise First Quarter ‘06

Turner Construction: Costs Expected To Rise First Quarter ‘06

Earlier this week, The Turner Corporation announced that construction costs in the first quarter of 2006 are projected to increase over the fourth quarter of 2005. According to the Turner Building Cost Index, the first quarter 2006 index will rise to 766, showing a 2.68% increase over the fourth quarter 2005 index of 746 and a 10.85% increase over the first quarter 2005 index of 691. Karl F. Almstead, the Turner vice president responsible for the Cost Index, says, “The volume of construction activity, cost pressure on materials associated with global demand, and the availability of skilled labor are the primary elements driving the cost escalation in the domestic construction market. Concerns over energy costs remain in the background, along with questions of the impact and timing of rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina.” Used widely by the construction industry and federal and state governments, the building costs and price trends tracked by the Turner Building Cost Index may or may not reflect regional conditions in any given quarter. The Cost Index is determined by several factors considered on a nationwide basis: labor rates and productivity, material prices, and the competitive condition of the marketplace. The index does not necessarily conform to other published indices because others do not generally take all of these factors into account.


Pfizer Recognized For Carpet Reclamation Efforts

Pfizer Recognized For Carpet Reclamation Efforts

Pfizer New York World Headquarters in New York City was recognized this week for its carpet reclamation efforts during 2005. StarNet Commercial Flooring Cooperative, a member-owned cooperative of independent, commercial floor covering contractors, presented the certificate of recognition to Pfizer. For TFM’s coverage of this subject, see “A Second Chance For Carpet” from the archives. Partnering with Consolidated Carpet, a StarNet member firm, Pfizer diverted 282,789 square feet, or 144,945 pounds, of carpeting from landfills in 2005 through the StarNet/CARE (Carpet American Recovery Effort) Reclamation Program. “As a Pfizer colleague we have a mandate to be responsible, good citizens to the community, and to lead in worthy directions with integrity,” says Mal Schuster, senior project engineer at the Pfizer New York World Headquarters. ”Our efforts in support of the environment reflect this commitment, from our reclamation initiatives to our annual Spring Recycling Event.” The StarNet/CARE Carpet Reclamation Program offers an option for dealing with the complexities of a carpet reclamation project. By offering a one-stop reclamation service, StarNet members can handle all the issues and details associated with the job. From the reclamation center, used carpet may be used to produce new carpet, energy, automotive parts or building materials, to name a few reuse options. “This is what leadership and teamwork are all about,” said Dr. Robert Peoples, executive director of CARE. “Three years ago Pfizer paid a premium to reclaim their old carpet. Today they can do it at a cost more closely approaching typical removal to landfill. Most companies would be content to stop there, but Pfizer is encouraging other firms to become engaged and environmentally focused.” Consolidated Carpet facilitated the reclamation process for Pfizer by coordinating the carpet removal process with the many contractors and demolition companies working on site. As a result, Pfizer did not have to dedicate personnel or resources to see that carpet removal was accomplished as scheduled and that the old carpet did not end up in a landfill. Consolidated Carpet arranged for the carpet to be removed to the certified carpet recycler on most projects. On other projects, carpet was collected at Consolidated Carpet’s own warehouse and reclaimed from there.


Free Influenza Pandemic Planning Kit Available

Free Influenza Pandemic Planning Kit Available

An Influenza Pandemic Planning Kit for small and large businesses is available at no charge from Best Sanitizers, Inc. The kit assists corporate pandemic teams with several issues, from choosing and calculating quantities of hygiene products that a company needs, to developing educational material and communications for employees. “The kit’s material is based on recommendations made in the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Health and Human Services which include the recommendation for businesses to provide hygiene education and supplies to employees,” according to Hillard Witt, president of Best Sanitizers. The planning kit includes: •Healthy Office™ Training Presentation•CDC’s Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist •Company worksheet to calculate quantities of supplies needed, based on number of employees and the amount of time a company chooses to cover for•Statistics on the reduction of absenteeism with hand hygiene programs•Corporate communications templates The CDC’s Planning Checklist includes these action items:•establish policies for preventing influenza spread at the worksite — promoting respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette •provide sufficient and accessible infection control supplies — hand-hygiene products, etc.•develop and disseminate programs and materials covering pandemic fundamentals –signs and symptoms of influenza, modes of transmission•develop personal and family protection and response strategies — hand hygiene, coughing/sneezing etiquette For information about the Healthy Office™ program call 888-225-3267 ext. 124.


Demand Increases for U.S. Industrial Space around Ports and Airports: trade with China drives boom

Demand Increases for U.S. Industrial Space around Ports and Airports: trade with China drives boom

Due to the phenomenal increase of goods being traded with China, U.S. industrial warehousing space and logistical operations are growing by leaps and bounds, with 68.9 million square feet of development expansion occurring in 2005, according to a joint study just released by The Staubach Company and DTZ Debenham Tie Leung. The Staubach Company is sponsoring two free educational sessions during The TFM Show next month; click here to register. The report, titled Enter the Dragon, examines the impact of the growth in the Chinese economy and global trade on the port locations and warehouse activity around the world. “Strong economic and trade growth translates into an increase in warehouse and logistical needs,” said Kris Bjorson, managing principal of The Staubach Company’s Logistics Practice Group. “From mid-market manufacturers to international retailers, both China’s manufacturing and consumption is creating unparalleled changes in the modes and flow of goods through a complex network of port locations and logistics operators.” As Chinese economic growth and global trade continue to rise, warehouse developers are locating closer to entry and exit points in the U.S., which drives increased real estate and logistical activity across all ports from Tacoma, WA down to Los Angeles/Long Beach, CA through the Panama Canal to Houston, TX around to Savannah, GA up to Norfolk, VA. The U.S. is China’s largest export market and accounts for 22 percent of its total exported goods. As the entry point for many Asia-made goods, Los Angeles is ranked number eight in the world according to size of throughput and has emerged as the strongest industrial market in North America. With demand for warehouse space continuing to be on the rise, rents have been surging at a double-digit percent increase on an annual basis. While West Coast transportation hubs have been the largest beneficiary of increased trade with China, East Coast centers are growing too as shippers try to avoid congestion on the West Coast. The Ports of New York and New Jersey have experienced a 32 percent increase in container traffic from 2001 to 2004. In 2004, 43 percent of New York’s industrial port business came from China. Baltimore has also seen double-digit percent growth in trade traffic in 2005. For a PDF copy of Enter the Dragon, please email wendy_dunn@richards.com.


ASHRAE, USGBC, IESNA Partner on Baseline Standard for Green Building

ASHRAE, USGBC, IESNA Partner on Baseline Standard for Green Building

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) announced that the three organizations have agreed to co-sponsor the development of a new ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA minimum standard for high performance green buildings. For TFM‘s coverage of this subject, see “Green Wants You” from the archives. Proposed Standard 189, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will provide minimum requirements for the design of sustainable buildings to balance environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort and well-being, and community sensitivity. Using USGBC’s LEED®Green Building Rating System as a key resource, Standard 189P will provide a baseline that will drive green building into mainstream building practices. Scheduled for completion in 2007, the proposed standard will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, addressing sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, a building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Standard 189P will be an ANSI-accredited standard that can be incorporated into building code. It is intended that the standard will eventually become a prerequisite under LEED. “This standard will establish a baseline for a high-performance, green building,” ASHRAE president Lee Burgett, P.E., said. “It will allow us to provide for the needs of the present without detracting from the ability to fulfill the needs of the future. Our partnership with USGBC to develop the proposed standard draws on their extensive experience in the green building market and assures that the needs of those who create sustainable buildings are met. We also are pleased to partner again with IESNA, building on the earlier efforts of our two societies in creating design guidance for more energy efficient buildings.” “We are proud to work with ASHRAE and IESNA to bring high performance green building practices to the mainstream,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “Given ASHRAE’s integrity and long history of leadership in energy efficiency and indoor environment, and IESNA’s technical strength in lighting, they’re the ideal partners in the effort. We’re confident that the baseline standard we’ll develop together will raise the entirety of the commercial building marketplace to a new level of resource efficiency.” “Sustainability is the next natural progression in the evolution of standards for building design, allowing us to weigh system solutions against the impact on the environment, while ensuring that buildings meet the needs of those who must work or live in them” said Dr. Alan Lewis, president, IESNA. “Sustainable design is… …Read More…


Legomania–for anyone who missed last week’s Friday Funny

Legomania–for anyone who missed last week’s Friday Funny

Pictured is a Lego replica of a Carrier air conditioner. Since we have been very busy here, your faithful editor has not had the chance to keep up with the demands of FacilityBlog. Still, there’s always time for a little chuckle, which is why I felt compelled to include this link to the top 10 strangest Lego creations. I know engineers love this kind of thing… Enjoy!


Legomania–for anyone who missed last week's Friday Funny

Legomania–for anyone who missed last week's Friday Funny

Pictured is a Lego replica of a Carrier air conditioner. Since we have been very busy here, your faithful editor has not had the chance to keep up with the demands of FacilityBlog. Still, there’s always time for a little chuckle, which is why I felt compelled to include this link to the top 10 strangest Lego creations. I know engineers love this kind of thing… Enjoy!


National Building Information Model Standards Committee Formed to create the National BIM Standard

National Building Information Model Standards Committee Formed to create the National BIM Standard

The National Institute of Building Standards (NIBS) through its Facility Information Council (FIC) has formed a committee to create the National Building Information Model Standard (NBIMS). The Standard is considered to be a critical element in reforming business practices in the capital facilities industry and recapturing at least $15B annually lost due to inefficiencies. The NBIMS team is actively soliciting participation from public and private organizations and individuals and, to date, 26 organizations representing most aspects of the facility lifecycle and many types of associated businesses have signed the Committee charter and over 80 individuals, overseen by an executive committee, are actively participating on NBIM working groups. The NBIMS Project Committee seeks to facilitate integration by providing a common language for describing facility information, common views of information based on the needs of businesses engaged in all aspects of facility commerce, and common standards for sharing data between businesses and their data processing applications. Use of common language and practices is expected to reduce building costs, insurance liability, construction schedules, and operating expense while increasing building performance, safety, building life and occupant efficiency. To further rapid development and wide acceptance, the Committee is partnering with international standards organizations and leveraging existing initiatives. Organizations include the Open Standards Consortium for Real Estate (OSCRE), the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc.® (OGC), International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) International, and FIATECH – a private standards consortium. In addition, the Committee is seeking and receiving active participation by professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA), Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), International Facilitates Management Association (IFMA), Mortgage Bankers Association, etc. Recent announcements by the US General Services Administration (GSA), US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the US Coast Guard (USCG) are an indication of rapid and immediate evolutionary pressures in the capital facilities industry. These government agencies and, similarly, private organizations, now require integrated service delivery approaches, use of ‘virtual building models’ to reduce errors and omissions, and the use and delivery of digital datasets for facility operations, maintenance and renewal; which support improved service delivery, enhanced emergency planning, management and response. Without a standard this is a risky endeavor. Release of the first version of the NBIM Standard is planned for December 2006.


Company joins Chicago Climate Exchange and announces sequestration partnership with American Forests to support new initiative

Company joins Chicago Climate Exchange and announces sequestration partnership with American Forests to support new initiative

Green Mountain Energy Company has launched eMission Solutions, a portfolio of carbon reduction services for commercial and institutional sector clients looking to improve their environmental position. eMission Solutions includes a wide range of carbon reduction products and services including Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), forest sequestration projects, LEED consulting, and other carbon reduction strategies. These products will allow companies to reduce their carbon footprint and offset the carbon emissions associated with business activities like transportation, production, electricity usage, and employee commuting and air travel. “With climate change, high energy costs, environmental concerns and increased focus on sustainable business practices by institutional investors, customers and other stakeholders at the forefront of today’s global mind-set, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment,” said Gillan Taddune, chief environmental officer for Green Mountain Energy Company and head of the eMission Solutions division. “Our experience and relationships put us in a unique position to offer carbon management solutions designed for next generation businesses.” In support of this new initiative, Green Mountain Energy Company has recently joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, multi-sector market for reducing and trading greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. CCX represents the first legally-binding commitment by a cross-section of North American corporations, municipalities and other institutions to establish a rules-based market for reducing all six greenhouse gases. CCX enables members to receive credit for reductions, and to buy and sell credits to determine the most cost-effective means of achieving emission reductions. In addition, Green Mountain Energy Company is expanding its ongoing partnership with American Forests to offer customers the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint through supporting forest sequestration projects. Forests are an important part of climate change solutions because of their capacity to store, or “sequester” carbon.