Facility Management Archives

Competition for most attractive rooms in America

Competition for most attractive rooms in America

The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) has launched its “Prettiest Painted Rooms in America” competition open to interior designers and decorators nationwide. This follows the institute’s highly successful “Prettiest Painted Places in America” competitions. Professional designers are invited to submit images of work they have completed within the last three years by May 1, 2006. Entries will be judged on the creativity employed in the use of paint and color and the overall design of the room. The quality of the photos submitted will also be influential. There will be one grand-prize winner and four runner-up prizes will also be awarded. Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with the Rohm and Haas PQI says, “This competition will serve as a terrific forum for industry professionals to showcase their work and compete on the ‘paint and decorating playing field,’ so to speak. This is a first-rate competition that will garner entrants nationwide. It is going to be a truly exciting event.” Competition winners will be chosen by a prestigious panel of judges that include the following members:• Scott Agelloff, Dean of the New York School of Interior Design• Mario Buatta, legendary designer• Clodagh, internationally renowned designer• Elaine Griffin, designer and contributor to O at Home• Louis Gropp, former editor-in-chief of House Beautiful, House & Garden and Elle Décor magazines• Michael Payne, interior designer and host of HGTV’s “Designing for the Sexes”• Debbie Zimmer, color and decorating expert with PQI All winning entries will be posted on the Paint Quality Institute Web site and published in the Paint Quality Institute DIY Newsletter. The grand-prize winner will choose from the following prizes: • Deluxe New York City Weekend for Two, including airfare, stay at the world-famous Waldorf Astoria, dinner at Asiate in the Mandarin Oriental, New York, lunch at Tavern on the Green, Broadway tickets and a meeting with a top New York City designer.or• South Beach Extravaganza for Two, including airfare, stay at The Bentley Beach Hotel, a deluxe spa treatment, dinner at Prime One Twelve, a $1,000 Bal Harbour Shops Gift Card and a tour of the Miami Design District. Runners-up will receive a Howard Miller clock valued at $1,400. Entry forms are available by calling (212) 308-8880, ext. 116.


HVAC simplified in new book from ASHRAE

HVAC simplified in new book from ASHRAE

Step-by-step engineering design methods and tools are emphasized in a new design manual from ASHRAE. “HVAC Simplified provides an understanding of fundamental HVAC concepts and explains simple design tools used to create building systems that are efficient and provide comfortable and healthy environments,” said author Stephen Kavanaugh, Ph.D., a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Alabama. Topics include equipment selection and specification, comfort and indoor air quality, ventilation air, ASHRAE standards, building assemblies, heating and cooling loads, electrical and control systems, and design of air and water distribution systems. “This publication provides the instruction and tools required to specify HVAC systems for many small to medium-sized buildings,” he said. The book includes a CD with spreadsheet programs that incorporate design and computation procedures. The cost of HVAC Simplified is $79 ($59, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at (800) 527-4723 (United States and Canada) or (404) 636-8400.


Friday Funny: “Who’s on first?” (abbreviated and workplace related)

Friday Funny: “Who’s on first?” (abbreviated and workplace related)

This “Pass the Buck” Friday Funny comes courtesy of the Comedy Zone. This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


Friday Funny: "Who's on first?" (abbreviated and workplace related)

Friday Funny: "Who's on first?" (abbreviated and workplace related)

This “Pass the Buck” Friday Funny comes courtesy of the Comedy Zone. This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


Uniforms are a popular “fringe benefit”

Uniforms are a popular “fringe benefit”

In what appears to be a popular and ongoing trend, organizations as diverse as city maintenance departments and exotic island resorts have been adding employee uniforms to their company fringe benefit packages in order to boost morale and, in turn, their productivity levels. Evidence that employers are turning to uniforms as a fringe benefit—or perhaps more accurately, a “mutual benefit”— was revealed in a study conducted by the Uniform Textile and Service Association (UTSA), which showed that upwards of 33 million workers currently wear uniforms on the job and their ranks are growing by approximately 1.2 million people each year. Employee uniforms have traditionally been viewed by many as a functional necessity—similar to any other tool needed to get a job done. However, uniforms are now emerging as a true benefit for employers seeking more affordable ways to attract, retain, and motivate employees. “Generally speaking, uniforms often make positive contributions to worker attitudes because of the ‘team like’ sense of belonging they create,” notes Robert Isaacson, director of marketing for UniFirst Corporation, a supplier of uniforms and work apparel programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. “On a more practical level, a managed uniform program—which is typically rental in nature—means organizations give their employees a form of ‘pay raise,’ because employers assume the financial responsibility for supplying and maintaining the freshly cleaned clothing their employees wear to work each day. Employees save on upfront uniform investments, home laundering costs, and, of course, the ongoing needs to purchase replacement clothing as work apparel becomes damaged or worn out. Add in the fact that uniforms can enhance a worker’s professional stature and sense of self-worth, and you have a powerful combination of factors that can cause morale to head in only one direction…upwards.” A heightened sense of morale is obvious among the 170 public works employees who change into rented uniforms on their arrival to work each day in Wheeling, West Virginia, says Asst. City Manager Rita Coyne. Why? “They don’t have to take those dirty things home,” she says of work clothing that routinely becomes heavily soiled with grease and grime. “The fact that organizations are instituting managed uniform programs as a fringe benefit reflects that they have a winning attitude that reaches far beyond the walls of their facilities,” says UniFirst’s Isaacson. “That’s because organizations that provide rented workwear for their employees take greater control of their overall business image; they take advantage of the ‘walking advertisements’ personalized uniforms provide; and they leverage their uniform programs so their enterprises repeatedly position… …Read More…


Uniforms are a popular "fringe benefit"

Uniforms are a popular "fringe benefit"

In what appears to be a popular and ongoing trend, organizations as diverse as city maintenance departments and exotic island resorts have been adding employee uniforms to their company fringe benefit packages in order to boost morale and, in turn, their productivity levels. Evidence that employers are turning to uniforms as a fringe benefit—or perhaps more accurately, a “mutual benefit”— was revealed in a study conducted by the Uniform Textile and Service Association (UTSA), which showed that upwards of 33 million workers currently wear uniforms on the job and their ranks are growing by approximately 1.2 million people each year. Employee uniforms have traditionally been viewed by many as a functional necessity—similar to any other tool needed to get a job done. However, uniforms are now emerging as a true benefit for employers seeking more affordable ways to attract, retain, and motivate employees. “Generally speaking, uniforms often make positive contributions to worker attitudes because of the ‘team like’ sense of belonging they create,” notes Robert Isaacson, director of marketing for UniFirst Corporation, a supplier of uniforms and work apparel programs throughout the U.S. and Canada. “On a more practical level, a managed uniform program—which is typically rental in nature—means organizations give their employees a form of ‘pay raise,’ because employers assume the financial responsibility for supplying and maintaining the freshly cleaned clothing their employees wear to work each day. Employees save on upfront uniform investments, home laundering costs, and, of course, the ongoing needs to purchase replacement clothing as work apparel becomes damaged or worn out. Add in the fact that uniforms can enhance a worker’s professional stature and sense of self-worth, and you have a powerful combination of factors that can cause morale to head in only one direction…upwards.” A heightened sense of morale is obvious among the 170 public works employees who change into rented uniforms on their arrival to work each day in Wheeling, West Virginia, says Asst. City Manager Rita Coyne. Why? “They don’t have to take those dirty things home,” she says of work clothing that routinely becomes heavily soiled with grease and grime. “The fact that organizations are instituting managed uniform programs as a fringe benefit reflects that they have a winning attitude that reaches far beyond the walls of their facilities,” says UniFirst’s Isaacson. “That’s because organizations that provide rented workwear for their employees take greater control of their overall business image; they take advantage of the ‘walking advertisements’ personalized uniforms provide; and they leverage their uniform programs so their enterprises repeatedly position… …Read More…


Green computers soon just a click away

Green computers soon just a click away

Responding to growing demand by large volume computer purchasers seeking to buy more environmentally sensitive computers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated the Green Electronics Council to develop and maintain a list of computers, laptops, and monitors meeting strict environmental criteria. Manufacturers will identify products meeting the recently developed Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) criteria, and the Green Electronics Council will verify the credibility of these claims. The Green Electronics Council will post the initial green computer registry online in June 2006. Even though EPEAT is not yet operational, it is already referenced in $16 billion worth of upcoming computer purchases. To meet this demand, green computers are currently in development by many of the major computer manufacturers. They have significantly reduced levels of hazardous materials such as cadmium, mercury, and lead. They also are more energy efficient, easier to upgrade, and easier to recycle safely. EPEAT was developed over a two year period in an extensive multi-stakeholder process funded by EPA. The more than 50 participating stakeholders included environmental non-profit organizations, large public and private sector purchasers, major computer and component manufacturers, electronic recyclers, and others. The three-tiered EPEAT rating system developed by EPA’s stakeholder group includes 23 required criteria and 28 optional performance criteria organized in the following eight product performance categories:Reduction/Elimination of Environmentally Sensitive Materials Materials Selection Design for End of Life Life Cycle Extension Energy Conservation End of Life Management Corporate Performance Packaging Products meeting all 23 of the required criteria will be identified as EPEAT Bronze products. Products meeting at least 14 of the optional criteria will be listed as EPEAT Silver products, and those meeting at least 21 of the optional criteria will be designated EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT standard will be officially released in April 2006 when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) releases the IEEE/ANSI 1680 Standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, including Notebook Personal Computers, Desktop Personal Computers and Personal Computer Monitors. Once the standard is released, the Green Electronics Council will begin processing applications from manufacturers to list their products on the EPEAT Web site.


Call for papers: Partners in Protection Symposium

Call for papers: Partners in Protection Symposium

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) has issued a call for papers for its annual symposium entitled Partners for Protection: Fire Protection Engineers and the Fire Service. This symposium will be held on October 17 -18, 2006 in Ellicott City, MD.For TFM‘s coverage of this topic, see “Fire Protection And Building Codes,” from the archives. Presentations about recent advancements in fire protection engineering related to the fire service are sought for this symposium, and may address topics such as: fire fighter safety, fire investigations, incident information systems, wildland-urban interface, mass notification, manual fire suppression agents, and fire department interface with fire protection systems. The emphasis is on engineering design and how it applies to the fire service. “The fire service and fire protection engineers work together to make our communities safe from fire. Each share common goals: protection of life and property from fire,” said SFPE Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “This symposium will focus on how fire protection engineers work in concert with the fire service to achieve common fire safety goals.” Abstracts are due by March 6, 2006. Submittal requirements can be found online, or for more information, contact ChrisJelenewicz at (301) 718-2910 (ext. 108).


Asbestos bill dies in the Senate

Asbestos bill dies in the Senate

The possibility of an industry fund to payout asbestos related lawsuits has been scrapped for now, due to a vote in the Senate yesterday. If it passed, the bill would have established a $140 billion fund to pay for claims on asbestos cases. However, should the fund go dry, taxpayers may be held responsible for future claims under the failed legislation. According “Asbestos Fund Falls Short” by James P. Miller, staff reporter for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Opponents of the plan, including insurance industry interests, trial lawyers and some small businesses, had condemned the measure on a variety of grounds. Many asserted that the fund’s backers have grossly underestimated the cost of resolving the claims and that the measure might leave taxpayers on the hook for huge payments to claimants in future years. Others noted that the bill, which would oblige claimants to go through the settlement system, would deprive individual claimants of their day in court. And some, including Democrat Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, called the agreement too favorable to companies that allegedly knew about but concealed the health damage asbestos could cause. Tuesday’s vote was probably unwelcome news for USG, the building-products maker that is preparing to leave bankruptcy protection and that in late January reached a deal to settle all current and future asbestos-liability claims. USG’s agreement is structured so that the company’s liability would be capped at about $900 million if asbestos-settlement legislation clears both the Senate and the House this session. If the bill fails, as it appears to have done, then USG’s liability will total approximately $3.95 billion.


Superdome remediation

Superdome remediation

Munters Moisture Control Services (MCS) played a role in recovery efforts at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans after the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Superdome officials turned to MCS to stabilize the 270,000-square-foot venue to prevent further water damage, remediate mold, dry flooded areas and remove damaged materials. For TFM‘s coverage of this story, see “Worst Case Scenario” from the archives. The massive facility, home to the National Football League (NFL) New Orleans Saints and college football teams, was heavily damaged by high winds that breached parts of the building’s roof and suffered interior damage from the thousands of New Orleans residents who sought shelter there after the hurricane. Twenty-five MCS personnel and a temporary work force of nearly 250 laborers from the New Orleans/Louisiana area were used to complete the immense 45-day project. “Our role was to stabilize the environment and to initiate the recovery process,” said Brad Key, Superdome project manager and national business development manager for MCS. “We were one of the first catastrophe companies to get the facility moving on the path toward recovery. “Remediation of mold was a large portion of our job,” added Key. “Many areas of the facility remained wet for quite some time before we were granted access, and as a result, over one million square feet of drywall and ceiling was exposed to mold growth.” MCS also was asked to ventilate the dome to meet a certain number of air exchanges per day. This task was substantial, because the structure encompasses 125 million cubic feet. To meet the requirement, MCS installed equipment capable of exchanging 160,000 cubic feet of air per minute.Other project work included: * Removing the playing turf* Removing all carpet from the building* Removing all bio hazard waste including meat in refrigerators, freezers and concessions and fecal matter from sewer system flooding* Isolating and stabilizing 32 mechanical and electrical rooms in the building and maintaining proper ambient conditions in the rooms with use of desiccant dehumidification * Removing contaminated HVAC filter banks and the filters themselves* Evacuating 3.8 million gallons of water from the parking garage “We are honored to have played a significant role in the recovery of this grand facility,” Key added. The NFL recently announced that the Superdome will reopen for football in the fall. The New Orleans Saints will play the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 24, the first event scheduled for the facility.