A Cost-Effective Solution for Ensuring High Acoustic Performance in New Multi-Family Buildings
A Breath of Fresh Air: Why and How to Improve Indoor Air Quality
What do Facility Managers Need to Know?
It’s a bit like throwing a firecracker
The building envelope. When architects, building engineers and owners talk about that barrier to the great outdoors, the one thing everyone knows and acknowledges is that it will never be perfectly sealed. Careful door selection, however, can bring buildings closer to the ideal.
Buildings are among the country's largest users – and wasters – of energy in keeping the interior comfortable and productive. According to the EPA, commercial buildings consume around 15% of the country's energy, yet they emit 20% of the country's greenhouse gases – which both pollutes the environment and can increase operations costs.
One challenge to envelope integrity is specifying and installing doors that minimize this energy loss while allowing access to the facility, especially those large doorways that handle vehicular traffic. Throughout a year, thousands of dollars in energy can blow through these massive openings.
The conventional wisdom around exterior doorways or for doors on walls that separate two extreme temperature differential environments is that the door panel has to match the thickness and insulation of the wall to which it is attached – to protect the doorway. This way of thinking prevailed in the building energy codes until recently – the problem is that a fat door is a slow door.
Previously, building managers in facilities with a high rate of traffic had to make a choice – get a door that can go with the flow or one that can contain energy. Thanks to research recently released by the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA), commercial bbuilding owners and facility managers can be comfortable with achieving both the speed to keep the operation moving while protecting against energy loss and wasted cost.
Depending up on the rate at which traffic moves through the doorway, door speed becomes more of a factor than the traditionally regarded door panel R-value for preventing energy loss and maintaining a productive environment. DASMA research found, factoring in average door size and other factors, that once the daily cycles hit around 55, the facility realizes the energy-saving benefits of high-speed doors operating over 30 inches per second.
There are doors that operate more frequently than 55 times – at many industrial and distribution facilities, doors can cycle as much as 400 times a day. For these doorways, rapid door operation significantly minimizes the amount of time the door is open once a vehicle passes through the doorway. At this point, air exchange becomes more of an energy loss issue than heat transmittal though the door panel.
Doorways on interior walls tend to see the highest traffic rates. Exterior doorways, though, are generally large, and along with the potentially high-energy loss, people tend to work around these doorways. Imagine the impact on productivity in winter when a heavy, lumbering door is taking many seconds to open and close, letting teeth-chatteringly cold air into the building.
In 2015, this new criteria for doors will likely impact the standards incorporated by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the International Energy Conservation Code. As a result, building owners and facility managers can put to use the kind of doors they know they need, not the kind they think they need.
Jeff Wendt is dealer development manager at Rytec High-Performance Doors. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Facility budget cuts can often mean the decline of effective cleaning programs within offices, schools, hospitals, retail malls and other buildings. However, cleaning is essential for creating a safe environment, maintaining occupant satisfaction and keeping a facility well-maintained and looking great. Rather than eliminating many cleaning practices from a facility, organizations can instead implement a variety of cost-cutting cleaning methods and new technologies to make cleaning more efficient.
1) Day Cleaning
2) Dilution Control Problems
Dilution control solutions dispense the correct chemical dose so that employees don’t have to manually dilute them. By implementing this solution, facilities can avoid switching to lower quality chemicals to cut costs, which typically require employees to use more chemical to achieve the same results.
3) Technologically-Advanced Floor Care Machines
Facility managers should review the overall cleaning cycle (preparation, operation and maintenance) when selecting a machine to determine if it will provide savings over time. For instance, it shouldn’t be difficult for the operator to prepare the machine or adjust pads and brushes and maintenance shouldn’t require ergonomic strain.
4) Customizable Cleaning Carts
Customizable cleaning carts can be configured based on the user’s preferences. Frequently-used cleaning chemicals and microfiber cloths can be kept on the top and the closest side of the cart to the worker. Lesser-used items can be kept at the bottom.
When facility managers face budget cuts, the ideal solution is to make adjustments to cleaning programs, rather than cut out resources completely or switch to cheaper options that yield less impressive results. Technology, innovative tools, chemicals, and equipment can make cleaning more efficient and cost-effective. Together, they allow organizations to reduce energy, chemical and water consumption, and improve productivity, thereby creating a more affordable cleaning program that doesn’t sacrifice results, sustainability, safety or occupant satisfaction.
Rob Kohlhagen is director of corporate account sales and marketing for Building Service Contractor secrot at Diversey Care. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shaun Tinholt is senior portfolio manager of cleaning tools and equipment for Diversey Care. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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