Sustainable design tied to strong financial performance.
Lighting, acoustics rated as top concerns.
Guidelines include short-term, long-term energy efficiency goals.
The Advocate AV-Series Lavatory System, now in 10 new colors, integrates soap, faucet and dual-sided hand dryer in a touchless, all-in-one solution. www.bradleycorp.com/advocate.
Need portable cooling? Call Number 1! Sunbelt Rentals now has North America’s largest fleet of climate control equipment.
Spot Coolers commercial portable heating & cooling Nationwide Emergency service 24/7. Your source for portable air conditioning rentals and sales.
The nation’s vulnerability to flooding is increasing. Sea level rise, powerful ocean storms and other effects of global warming are raising the threat of catastrophic flooding in many coastal communities. Meanwhile, heavy rains have caused damaging floods in Texas and other parts of the U.S. that haven’t seen flooding of that magnitude in decades.
Even minor flood events are happening with greater frequency.The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association reported a dramatic increase in “nuisance” floods that cause inconvenience by flooding roads, homes and businesses. Minor coastal flooding that 50 years ago would have been caused by a strong hurricane, today can be caused by a high tide.
Recently, FEMA updated the federal flood plain maps to reflect higher water levels and wider areas at risk to flood events. The changes put more non-residential buildings in designated flood zones, requiring owners to obtain flood insurance (some for the first time) and resulting in a nearly 10x increase in insurance rates.
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, at least 25 percent of businesses that close after a flood never reopen. From 2010 to 2014, the average commercial flood claim amounted to nearly $89,000.
The high cost of flooding is driving interest in flood protection solutions. New York City, where sea levels are expected to rise more than six feet this century, recently announced it will invest $30 million in resiliency technologies, including flood barriers to protect small businesses.
So what can building owners do to protect their assets from a flood? There are four basic strategies:
1) Move or build on higher ground.
2) Elevate above flood levels.
3) Build earthen barriers and levels around structures.
4) Flood proof.
Of these strategies, dry flood proofing is the most cost effective method for urban structures, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dry flood proofing combines measures such as barriers, seals and pumps that result in a building being water tight below flood levels. The National Flood Insurance Program, which offers flood insurance to business owners based on FEMA requirements, recognizes dry flood proofing as one way to reduce the threat of flooding and costs of insuring against damage.
While dry flood proofing may sound like a good idea for buildings in flood prone areas, building owners and facility managers should consider several factors before beginning any flood mitigation project:
A benefit cost analysis is the best way to estimate the future benefits of a flood mitigation project and compare the benefits to the cost. The benefit cost ratio (BCR) is derived by dividing the projects net benefits (defined as avoided damage) by the project cost (installation, operation maintenance and insurance difference). A BCR of less than 1.0 is not cost effective and would not be approved for federal grant funds under FEMA guidelines.
2) Functional use requirements
The current and future use of buildings must be evaluated. What are the building access requirements? How long can business operations be interrupted and to what degree? Can flood damage be repaired and how long will it take? Flood proofing can reduce these vulnerabilities, however relocation might be the only alternative.
3) Occupant safety
The relationship of flood proofing options to occupant safety must be evaluated in the pre-design phase. Floods may exceed the design capacity of flood proofing measures and pose extreme danger to building occupants. Evacuation provisions must be made for occupants. Safe access to and egress from flood proofed buildings is a critical factor in deciding which flood proofing measures are appropriate. Access roads should remain passable long enough for flood proofing measures to be installed and for all personnel to safely evacuate the site.
4) Flood warning time
Some flood proofing options require adequate warning time, from a few hours to days, depending on the complexity. Forecasting systems should be able to predict when a flood is imminent and which areas will be flooded. River-flood forecasts are prepared by the National Weather Service and disseminated to the public. However, many non-residential buildings are located on smaller streams that are not included in a major forecasting network.
Building owners should contact their local emergency management agency to determine whether any active flood warning systems are in place, and work with appropriate local and state agencies to develop an adequate flood forecasting system, if needed.
5) Flood emergency operational plan
Flood emergency operational plans are highly recommended. Plans should contain information on how flood proofing measures work during and after a flood event, such as how to maintain power for equipment that requires electricity during a flood event.
A flood emergency operational plan should do the following:
6) Inspection and maintenance plan
All parts of the flood proofing system should be verified, maintained and exercised for use. At a minimum, inspection and maintenance plans should review:
Flood proofing does not guarantee that Mother Nature won’t prevail in the event of a flood. However, a well-thought-out flood mitigation plan in combination with flood insurance will significantly reduce the risk of flood damage for building owners and their assets.
Tom Osborne is the owner and president of Flood Panel, LLC.
Crickets are little more than a bothersome pest in many areas of the country, but in Texas these insects can be downright villains. Typically, insects called field crickets head into Texas, and other American cities from their normal rural habitat looking for ground covering to lay their eggs. Although they are troublesome and a little creepy, once they flood into cities they do not cause much damage to buildings…until they die.
According to Bill Lucas, formerly an associate director of facilities maintenance at University of Texas-Austin, once they die “they smell terrible. The smell gets sucked into the air conditioning system…. [creating] an unpleasant work environment in buildings.”
As this odor (and many other odors) are spread, they can penetrate into carpet, upholstery, and other fabrics. The odor can then hang around for weeks or months and the only option to truly eradicate it is with an ozone generator.
While few facilities have cricket problems, there are plenty of other sources of odors that can be detrimental to facility operations. Building owners and managers should know that destroying an odor problem is usually a three-step process:
1) Locate the source of the stench and remove it. This is critical. Unless the source of the odor is removed, it will most likely return.
2) Extract the carpets. Try to look at carpets as sponges that absorb airborne contaminants, dust, and dirt, as well as odors.
3) If steps one and two do not work, it may be time to use an ozone generator (be sure to keep the building closed during this process).* In some cases, this step will not be necessary. But if you’re dealing with a persistent odor, ozone spells odor relief.
Ozone generators are often used in restoration work after a flood, a fire, or in our case above, an abundance of dead crickets. They do not mask odors, instead they eliminate odors, especially after other methods have failed. One of the most extreme examples was in 1980, when the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino fire occurred in Las Vegas. Even after the hotel had been essentially rebuilt and refurbished, the fire and smoke odors remained. Ozone generators were brought in to help eliminate these stubborn odors.
However, they are more often used in less severe or dramatic situations. Often ozone generators are used to eliminate cigarette smoke, mold and mildew, or paint fume odors, to off-gas carpet or upholstery, or to clear the air after pesticides have been used in a building. Sometimes they are brought in simply to “freshen up” a building area before it is used.
The way these machines work is actually quite fascinating but a bit complicated. Simply put, they produce molecules that oxidize and eliminate odor producing molecules. With the odor producing molecules gone, so goes the odor.
A question facility managers may have about the use of ozone machines is, are they safe? According to Jeff Bishop of Clean Care Seminars Inc., a recognized expert on carpet cleaning and restoration issues, ozone generation is safe as long as people, plants, and pets are removed from the area where the machines are used and the machines are used properly. The more advanced ozone generators will have timers that can be preset as well as output adjustments that can be changed based on the severity of the problem.
Along with timers, when selecting an ozone machine, look for these features:
Versatility: Select a machine that can easily be moved from location to location as needed.
Power: Ozone generators are often used after a fire or water damage. There may be electricity issues when these occur so select a system with a transformer specifically designed for harsh conditions.
UL tested: The machine should be UL tested and accepted.
Corona: One of the key components of an ozone generator is the corona. Select a maintenance free system which will prove more effective and last longer.
However, before bringing in the ozone, as mentioned earlier, we must eliminate the source of the odor. Typically the best way to do this is to extract all carpets and upholstery first, especially if the malodor is pervasive. With many malodor problems, this step alone may eliminate the odor. For the most effective deep cleaning, be sure to use a carpet extractor that has the following features:
1) Adjustable from 150 to 500 PSI (pounds per square inch); a lower PSI can be used for delicate upholstery, and a higher PSI for carpets.
2) According to many experts, systems that heat the cleaning solution to approximately 200 degrees (F) help the cleaning solution work more effectively, which can certainly prove helpful in odor eradication.
3) A low moisture system will ensure the carpet dries faster and there is less chance for mold or mildew to develop
4) A dual-surface extractor can also be used to clean carpet as well as hard surface floors. This will also allow technicians to deep clean tile and grout; tile and grout floors are porous and odor-causing molecules may work their way into these pores.
Very often, the first step in dealing with odor eradication is to mask the odor. In some cases, this may be all that is necessary if the odor eventually goes away on its own. However, building managers and cleaning professionals cannot count on this happening. In fact, in many cases when the odors are caused by bacteria, mold, or mildew, the odor can get progressively worse. Always remember these steps:
1) Find the source of the odor.
2) Eliminate the source.
3) Wait, if the odor is still noticeable, it's time to bring in the big guns – the ozone generators.
Sara Thurston is communications manager for Nilfsk, manufacturers of U.S. Products.
Do you know how to attract the next generation of great employees? Take a look at these valuable tips that can help you modernize your office design and improve recruiting and employee retention efforts.
Read the rest of entry »
Do you know the steps necessary to address and mitigate the consequences of leaks on the roof? Take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn more.
Could Software as a Service make your operations more efficient? Take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn more.
See the dual benefits of green certification and improved pest management with this valuable industry advice.
A preventive maintenance plan could save over 12% on maintenance costs, take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn more.
Don't let IAQ in your building suffer, take a look at how the New Mechanics of Productivity can give your facility a boost.
New provisions in the 2015 IECC could mean a great chance to improve efficiency with your reroofing project, take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn more.
Learn more about the varied benefits of building automation systems with this valuable industry advice.
Electrical preventive maintenance could help your facility avoid expensive replacement costs, take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn more.
The right choice of underlayment could add value to your floor renovation, take a look at this valuable industry advice to learn what you should be looking for.
The BUILDINGS brand serves commercial building owners and facilities management professionals for commercial real estate. BUILDINGS brand offers its audience of commercial building owners and facilities management professionals information on the development, construction, modernization, management and operations of commercial buildings as well as the products and services needed to support such commercial buildings and facilities management. With the information we offer, we help facilities management professionals make smarter decisions for commercial buildings.
BUILDINGS delivers relevant and timely information that equips commercial building owners and facilities management professionals with the knowledge and support they need to solve critical issues; energy management, lowering operating costs, new products for commercial buildings, security, and much more.
BUILDINGS provides facilities management professionals commercial buildings tips and trends trough online webinar events (BuildingsVIP), monthly newsletters, whitepapers and case studies.
In addition to content, BUILDINGS features a comprehensive list of products and services and is your link to the companies that provide these valuable facilities management and commercial buildings resources.
You also have the opportunity to maintain your commercial buildings certifications with BUILDINGS. Continuing Education Units are available with approved content from BOMI.
©Copyright 2014 Stamats Communications, Inc. All rights reserved / BUILDINGS