10/05/2001

Opportunity Knocks

New washroom soap system results in a reallocation of 25 maintenance labor hours a month

By Ed Mass

 
The Property
Brookfield manages the Honeywell Building in Toronto. It is a 250,000-square-foot, mixed-use property. "155 Gordon Baker Road" is the Canadian headquarters for Dell and houses many other large tenants such as Honeywell, a computer and technology college, and several other businesses. Occupants number approximately 1,200 full time, plus hundreds of students and visitors on a nearly round-the-clock basis. Brookfield Properties Ltd. is a publicly traded, $8 billion asset developer/management company with more than 50 commercial buildings in its portfolio.

Background
The Honeywell Building, Toronto, Ontario, has 10 men's and 10 women's washrooms: two on each 50,000-square-foot floorplate. Facilities feature a vanity countertop with three counter-mounted soap dispensers that, in the past, were supplied by under-counter 30-ounce soap vessels. The Day Porter and Day Matron have responsibility for checking soap levels and refilling, usually twice a week. We estimate it consumes approximately 5 percent of their time, kneeling down under the counter, unscrewing the vessel, filling and replacing. Lastly, we know how our tenants feel about soap availability; therefore, we're quite conscientious in this regard, never running out of soap.

Let me also remark about the continuing residual of soap residing at the bottom of the vessels that rarely gets pumped out. We believe this can be a source of contamination, negatively altering the viscosity, scent, and freshness of the product due to potential bacteria growth.

A New Approach
We pride ourselves on looking forward and trying new ideas. If we can improve our service and reduce overall costs at the same time, it's a win-win. So, the concept of a single soap cartridge, neatly housed under the vanity, providing thousands of handwashes, was quite appealing. Not to mention two additional benefits: the 2,000-handwash concealed reservoir and the compatibility of our existing soap dispensers from the same manufacturer.

Pilot Mock-Up
At our request, the vendor equipped our two busiest washrooms with traffic volume two to three times that of our average facility. We selected their phosphate-free pink lotion soap, and ran the test for four months with remarkable, better-than-anticipated results. Quite naturally, we then went forward and retrofitted all of our remaining facilities.

"Did you guys do something with our soap? We love it!"

We continue to receive many favorable comments from our tenants, all on an unsolicited basis. They find the new soap appealing - not too heavy on the scent or too gender-specific. They also like the viscosity and use terms like "clear and clean." And, probably because the system is sealed, the product always feels "fresh" and the dispensers "plentiful" and "filled to the top."

The Benefit I Like the Most
Maintenance expenses continue to increase, with labor being one of the most costly. Believe it or not, this new soap system has freed up more than 25 hours a month between our Day Porter and Matron, allowing us to reallocate this time to common area maintenance, both internally and externally. It seems that we have introduced an improved product that has allowed us to reallocate our labor focus to improve other areas of service.

Randy Daiter, RPA, is senior manager, Property & Tenant Services, at Brookfield Properties Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 
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