Products That Save You Money

Dec. 23, 2019

Janelle Penny discusses products that affect the bottom line by reducing the use of resources and cut down on time and labor investment.

Janelle Penny discusses products that affect the bottom line by reducing the use of resources and cut down on time and labor investment. She chats about the annual Money-Saving Products program results from last year, a new toilet that is supposed to promote productivity and health, and more. Listen now.

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[Start transcript]

Janelle Penny: Hi everyone, and thanks for joining me for another FM Friday. This is Janelle Penny. I’m the editor-in-chief of Buildings. We took a brief hiatus from the podcast, but now we’re back with regular weekly podcasts that you can find on iTunes, Google Play, Pocket casts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Today, I want to talk about the products that save us money. We’re about to launch the submission period for our annual money saving products competition. And we always get a great spread of products that reduce the use of resources and cut down on time and labor investment. All of those affect the bottom line, and I know you know that. And last time, we did things a little bit differently.

We picked three products that received a special honor called Editors’ Choice. These were three products we thought really went above and beyond in the money saving arena. For 2019, we had the Retrofit Kit with Indigo Clean Technology, which was this LED retrofit kit that also had 405 nanometer Indigo light built into it for disinfection.

We thought this was interesting because typically when you see light that disinfects, it’s like a UVC lamp that goes directly into a cooling tower or an HVAC duct or somewhere else where you don’t see it. But this is actually doubling as room lighting. We thought that that was really interesting, and it also was a great example of how lighting isn’t just lighting anymore, right.

Clockworks was also an Editor’s choice winner. This was an automated building analytics platform that does automated fall detection and diagnostics so you can see when things are maybe not functioning like they should, or maybe a building system is using more energy or more resources then it should be.

We ask everyone who enters the Money-Saving Products competition to explain in detail how that product saves people money, preferably with real-world examples and data, so we can really see it’s performing the way that it should, and Clockworks certainly delivered on that point.

The manufacturer actually included a case study where this fortune 500 biotech company deployed the software in 74 buildings in quite a few countries. That together covered more than 8.1 million square feet. They were getting 15 million data points every day from these 74 buildings and ended up using that data to save $1.4 million in energy just in the first year of deployment.

Numbers really speak to us and we think that they’re useful for you too, because nothing demonstrates function like a really in depth look at how it’s working out in the field.

The last Editors’ Choice winner from 2019 was the System 4500 Windows and Doors. We picked these as an Editors’ Choice winner last time because of their thoughtful design and their great thermal performance. REHAU, which was the company that submitted it, demonstrated to us that the system achieved thermal performance that was up to 45% more efficient than a thermally broken aluminum window. That saves money in both the heating and cooling seasons, and with energy prices being what they are in some areas, that really spoke to our editorial team.

Now, if you make products and you have one you think our readers need to know about, please submit it to us. You can go directly to, or you can just go to and choose money saving products from the products drop down menu. All the information you’ll need to submit is in there. I’m really excited to see what kind of innovative products will be submitted this year.

The contest covers lots of categories that facilities managers specified products and everything from building automation to janitorial to energy and water savings. We’ll have a great selection for you. 

Speaking of products that save money, I recently saw an article about a new toilet that claims to have health benefits for its users and better productivity. Yeah, you heard me right—a toilet that improves productivity.

Here’s the thing about this toilet. It’s called the Standard Toilet, same name as the manufacturer, and the seat has a 13-degree slope forward, so you’re basically doing a gentle squat when you use it. And the point of this squat is that your legs start to get uncomfortable after about five minutes.

The company which is based in the UK is citing this study that has people spending almost a half hour in there each time so you can imagine what that would cost depending on what you’re paying people, right?

I actually have mixed feelings on this design because it makes me wonder about people who have like irritable bowel syndrome or other digestive disorders who don’t really want to do squats multiple times a day. And some of the critics have pointed out that the bathroom is the one place in the workplace that is supposed to be truly private. So, having employers put in a toilet that’s actively making you physically uncomfortable, might not be a good look.

But mostly, I’m just hoping that the standard toilet is submitted to money saving products because I am dying to read more about this design and this 28-minute bathroom break study.

What’s your favorite money saving product though? I’m curious to know what listeners think.

So, if you specify products, and you have a way that you make sure they’ll save money, let us know. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or connect with Buildings on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and let’s talk products. That’s it for this week’s FM Friday podcast.

Be sure to subscribe to us on iTunes, Google Play, Pocket casts or wherever you get your podcasts. That way you’ll never miss an episode. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you again soon.

[End transcript]

Ready to submit your money-saving product? Get started here.

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with a special emphasis on covering facilities management. She aims to deliver practical, actionable content for facilities professionals.

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