Why Schools Are Choosing HDPE Over Traditional School Lockers

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The sound of metal lockers slamming shut can make anyone have a flashback to when they were back in school. Traditional lockers have been used in almost every school due to their reliable nature and durability. However, many schools have begun choosing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) over the traditional metal lockers, citing it as a much better alternative. We’ll gladly explain why schools are making the jump from metal to HDPE.

The Drawbacks of Traditional Metal Lockers

Metal lockers have been the standard for many years. They allow students to store their books and materials during the day with the benefit of a secure lock to protect their valuables. However, despite the long history of schools implementing metal lockers, there are a few drawbacks to sticking with the old standard.

While it’s more noticeable in actual locker rooms, metal lockers don’t necessarily stand up to humidity and moisture. With enough exposure, your colorful metal lockers will soon begin to rust, and the rust removal process can be meticulous and expensive. Not to mention, if left unchecked, an entire replacement may be required.

A common misconception about metal lockers is that they’re highly durable. In fact, they can incur a wide array of damage to their structure, as well as the aesthetics. They’re easily dented, and considering that slamming the locker is pretty much common practice, keeping up with the damage isn’t the easiest process. Graffiti is another issue that metal lockers face, because the removal of graffiti requires paint.

Why HDPE Is the Superior Material

Many schools have begun installing HDPE plastic instead of metal lockers for a variety of reasons. Due to the solid plastic construction, HDPE offers a strength and durability that thin steel and metal lockers can’t compete with. The plastic is impact-resistant, and given the students’ preferred method of closing their lockers, the HDPE can take the hits and show no sign of damage. They even emit a softer sound than the loud metal clang provided by traditional lockers.

Because HDPE is a more durable material, and endures very little damage, it doesn’t require extensive repairs. Its solid construction doesn’t rust and won’t absorb moisture. Another great advantage to HDPE school lockers is that they’re resistant to graffiti. Any sign of unwanted artwork can be simply wiped away without having to repaint the piece and adding unwanted VOC (volatile organic compounds) emissions into the air.

But what may be the biggest advantage that HDPE has over traditional lockers is the maintenance, or lack thereof. HDPE doesn’t require the constant maintenance and upkeep that metal lockers need in order to last. Instead, HDPE needs a simple cleaning every once in a while, making this material a low-maintenance and low-cost alternative to traditional metal lockers.

Are you looking to make the jump from traditional lockers to HDPE? Download this eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Why HDPE Is a Superior Material

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HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a durable solid plastic that has a variety of applications. Most notably, HDPE is used for bathroom partitions and stalls, commercial lockers and student lockers within educational facilities. Many businesses and schools have implemented HDPE materials with amazing results. So, why is HDPE being considered a super material for facilities?

Durability

As a facility manager, when it comes time for remodeling and renovations, you need to think ahead. Choosing a highly durable material has its advantages because you want the material lasting throughout the years without having to pay a fortune for replacements. HDPE has proven to be a stronger, more stable material than most plastics, wood, and even metal. It’s impact-resistant, so it can stand up to the pressures and elements of your facility.

When you choose HDPE, you no longer have to worry about any exterior damages. HDPE won’t scratch or dent, so you don’t have to have replacements on-hand. You don’t even have to worry about graffiti, because with HDPE, it can be easily wiped away.

Improving Air Quality

One of the main reasons why HDPE materials are utilized as restroom stalls is because it not only provides security and privacy, but it can also help keep the air quality high. Restrooms are a hotbed of moisture and humidity. Most plastic partitions have a kraft paper or cardboard core that can become moist, and eventually will sprout mold. Mold will not only lower the air quality, but it’ll result in a pungent odor that won’t be corrected with air fresheners.

When standard plastic partitions have mold sprouting inside of them, it’s too late, and they’ll have to be replaced in order to get rid of the mold. HDPE, on the other hand, resists mold growth because of its solid plastic construction. Because mold can’t grow in HDPE partitions, your air quality won’t drop, and you won’t have to replace your partitions anytime soon.

Low Maintenance

One phrase that facility managers love to hear is “low maintenance.” HDPE plastic doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. Because it’s a highly durable material, it doesn’t get the normal wear and tear that most materials get. In fact, it can outlast most plastics and won’t rust like metal. It doesn’t even require any fresh coats of paint because of its homogenous coloring. All that HDPE requires is a light cleaning every now and again.

Sustainability

Another major benefit to HDPE is that it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled material. They’re even recyclable themselves. You can effectively take your facility in a greener, more eco-friendly direction by installing HDPE lockers and partitions. Because it doesn’t require new coats of paint, you greatly reduce the risk of VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions in the air, which can reduce the quality and have a negative effect on occupant health.

 

To learn more about why HDPE is a superior material, download our FREE eBook, The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers, or contact us at Scranton Products.

Graffiti Resistant Material: Stop School Vandalism in Its Tracks

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It’s always important for a school to have an arts program. However, said arts should be designated on paper or canvas, not on the walls, stalls, or lockers. Graffiti and vandalism are a constant scourge in educational facilities all across the country, and keeping up with it can be a stressful and costly endeavor. The key is to find a graffiti resistant material to combat vandalism and graffiti in a way that’s cost efficient and beneficial to your school facility.

The Problem with Graffiti in Schools

While public art can have numerous benefits, such as a showcase of talent, or even a conversation starter, its best reserved outdoors and permitted by building owners and managers. In schools, graffiti can not only be destructive to property, but also to a member of the school like a student or teacher. As a facility manager, it’s your responsibility to take care of the mess, and it’s your job to prevent it

The most common way to cover up the graffiti is by painting over it. But while this seems like a simple fix, there are a few factors that may make you want to rethink your graffiti-removal strategy. The paint may not match the surface that the graffiti is on, so this little cosmetic imperfection can reduce the aesthetic value of your facility. Another byproduct of covering up the graffiti with paint is the VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions that’ll reduce your air quality and possibly lead to health issues with the students or faculty.

A Cost-Effective & Sustainable Way of Battling Graffiti

One of the best ways to combating vandalism and graffiti is by utilizing durable materials that can actually resist the paint or marker that’s being used. HDPE (high-density polyethylene) is a solid plastic that can stand up to graffiti. Due to its homogenous coloring, it doesn’t absorb the paint, and any graffiti can simply be wiped away without having to paint over it.

HDPE can be utilized as both lockers and bathroom partitions, the most common locations for unwanted graffiti to pop up. Bathroom partitions are far more commonplace for graffiti due to its concealment. But using HDPE materials in these locations has numerous benefits, the obvious being its impressive stance against graffiti.

Due to the solid construction, HDPE won’t endure any damage to its exterior. It’s impact resistant, and it won’t crack due to excessive hits. The material won’t even become infested with mold and mildew because it can stand up to the humidity and moisture that’s common in restrooms.

Making the Jump to HDPE

While replacing your traditional lockers and bathroom partitions can seem like a massive undertaking, so can keeping up with the removal of repetitive graffiti. HDPE lockers and partitions require very little maintenance, saving you a lot of time and money. And when graffiti does appear, simply wipe it away.

 

Want to learn more about using HDPE in your school? Download The Ultimate Guide to HDPE Plastic Lockers or Safe School Design: How Architecture Plays a Role in Creating Safe & Secure Educational Spaces today, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Important Facility Management Goals and Objectives for Facilities of All Types

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Managing a facility isn’t the easiest job in the world because there are many responsibilities involved. Whether your facility is a school, gym, or office building, it’s important to take note of issues and objectives so all your occupants are happy. Here are a few important facility management goals and objectives that are suitable for all types of facilities.

Communication with Stakeholders and Occupants

To set facility management goals, it’s crucial to keep an open line of dialogue with stakeholders and occupants to ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible. Open communication allows you to learn how the facility is perceived daily, along with some recommendations to make the facility a more comfortable environment. Design a system where occupants can easily send in their opinions and recommendations so you can ensure that all occupants are comfortable and happy with their surroundings.

Provide a Safe and Healthy Environment

It’s important to include potential health risks in your facility management goals to contain and correct these risks in your facility. Bathrooms are good areas to keep up with for cleanliness. It’s a room that’s visited by all, so make it as pleasant as possible by keeping it stocked with plenty of toiletries and air fresheners.

Because moisture is a common occurrence in bathrooms, be aware of any mold growth. Inspect the stalls to make sure they’re free of mold. However, depending on the material, it may already be too late. Invest in some high-density polyethylene (HDPE) stalls to not only prevent mold growth but because HDPE plastic doesn’t require any repainting or touch-ups, no harmful VOC emissions reduce the quality of your air. HDPE materials are even resistant to scratches, dents, and graffiti. They’re also more durable than most plastics, so they’ll last much longer.

Be Mindful of Deficiencies

As a facility manager, it’s important to notice any issues or deficiencies within your facility. It’s always good to perform a routine check every three to six months to make sure everything is in working order. Not only will this be effective in keeping everything running smoothly, but you’ll be able to spot any mechanical issues that could become more severe if left unchecked. Including preventative maintenance in your facility management goals is a more cost-effective alternative than a full repair or replacement.

Improve and Endorse Energy Efficiency

Taking steps to make your facility more energy efficient is important. Review the data on your facility’s gas, electricity, and water expenses to find out what’s costing the most and how you can reduce wasted energy. If you have room in the facility budget, invest in some energy-efficient light bulbs and give your building equipment a tune-up. Inspect for any leaks and seal them to prevent further energy waste.

Want to learn more about the many ways you can improve the air quality and energy efficiency of your facility? Download our eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom today.

Give Your Janitor A Break This Summer – Install Duralife Lockers®

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Lets talk about janitors, you know, those guys and gals, who are always there, on the ready with a sponge, broom or mop, just when you need them. They are in our schools all year long, available for any size clean up, taking care of the spills our kids make in the lunchroom, classroom and hallways. They go about their business undetected, coming out when needed. But do you know one of the ways they spend their summer (that coveted time of the year when your kids are home with you)? We do – they clean what they couldn’t clean during the year, the student’s lockers!

Making The Move Away From Metal

While we are spending our 3 months of summer relaxing at the beach, and eating ice cream, the school janitorial staff is cleaning up from the previous 9 months while school was in session. Schools with metal lockers have a regularly scheduled task associated with those lockers during the summer months, debridement of rust, dent repairs, chemical cleaning of graffiti and surface repainting. Lockers take a beating during the school year, with books being banged around, food deposits and spills, and not to mention, the dreaded odors of smelly, sweaty gym clothes. The labor-intensive cleanup task is costly to the school district, in several areas including labor, materials, and air & surface quality. As you can see, traditional metal lockers require extensive care and maintenance, and still don’t meet the needs of the busy school environment. But, we have a solution, Duralife Lockers® made with HDPE (High Density Polyethylene).

Duralife Lockers® are specifically designed to meet the durability and environmental demands of today’s busy schools. Made with solid-core HDPE, these lockers are impact, scratch and dent resistant, and hold up to the toughest student use. Graffiti readily wipes off the non-porous surface, and because they are impervious to moisture, Duralife Lockers® will never rust, corrode or delaminate. In addition, the HDPE surface does not harbor mold, mildew or bacterial growth, and the lockers can be fully power-washed or steam-cleaned. In short, with Duralife Lockers® you can say goodbye to rust, mold, graffiti, scratches, dents, and worrisome bacteria, and say hello to years of worry-free, low maintenance.

 

Robert Gannon, High School Facilities Director, on the benefits of HDPE lockers.

*Testing conducted by SiTU Biosciences LLC by the ISO 22196 methods

 

Sleek Modern Design For The School Hallways Of Tomorrow

When it comes to design, the modern sleek, simple lines of the Duralife® Locker line, make them a polished and aesthetically pleasing addition to any school hallway. They can really kick it up with their color options that bring high style to any atmosphere. The sustainability and durability stand up over time, making them a smart investment for today and tomorrow.

So Show Your Janitors Some Love This Summer – Invest In The Smart Choice – Duralife Lockers®

Download our brochure and see for yourself how HDPE Duralife Lockers® compare to traditional metal lockers – and Show Your Janitor Some Love This Summer!

Maintenance Tips for Commercial Restrooms

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Almost all facility managers know that their commercial restroom requires a lot of care, attention, and upkeep. But when tackling the restroom, it’s important to be sure of the necessary steps to guarantee that your bathroom is completely clean. Here are a few important steps to take for a cleaner restroom.

Cleaning Your Restroom

The restroom in your facility is one area that gets the most foot traffic. Due to the amount of visitors, general upkeep can feel like a mounting and endless endeavor. But knowing the proper methods and effective tricks can help make the process of cleaning the restroom easier. 

 

Scrubbing & Disinfecting

When cleaning your facility’s restroom, you need to make sure that you properly scrub and disinfect every surface. This includes sinks, vanities, toilets, urinals, and stalls. Check and see if all surfaces are free of soils, spots, stains, and other residue. Make sure that all surfaces are dry when you’re finished cleaning. 

 

Tackling the Floors

Focusing on the floor is important because of the germs and dirt that make their way in from occupants’ shoes. The floor should be swept and then mopped using a high-grade disinfectant. Be sure that the floor is free of dirt, mildew, and buildup. Also be sure that it’s slip resistant, so occupants can safely walk without hurting themselves. 

 

Freshening the Air

One of the first things that people will notice when they enter a commercial restroom is the room’s overall fragrance. While bathrooms are known for a variety of expected odors, it’s important to stay on top of these odors. Keep air fresheners available for occupants to use. However, if there’s mold sprouting in your bathroom, a simple air freshener may not be strong enough to handle the job.

Ridding Your Restroom of Mold

If you have mold in your bathroom, you need to locate where it’s actually growing. The most common location is actually inside your stalls and partitions. Due to the constant barrage of moisture and humidity, the inside of your stalls can become a breeding ground for mold, and once it’s present, it can be really hard to remove it.

If your stalls and partitions are indeed affected by mold, you may want to consider replacing them altogether. Using a solid plastic like HDPE (high-density polyethylene) can be one of the most effective ways to combat the threat of mold growing in your restroom and reducing the quality of your air.

HDPE is a highly durable material that can withstand mold growth. It can endure constant exposure to moisture and humidity without any risk of mold sprouting. Utilizing HDPE stalls and partitions not only reduces mold growth, but because of its resistance, it can help increase the air quality in your restroom.

 

Did you find these tips helpful? For more information to help you with your restroom, download our FREE eBooks, Choosing Bathroom Materials and Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, courtesy of Scranton Products.

Bathroom Stall Installation: How to Install Commercial Bathroom Stall Doors

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Whether you’re updating your facility’s bathroom, or you’re setting up the bathrooms in a new building, there are many steps to take to make sure you’re properly installing the bathroom stall doors. You’ll want secure and stable materials that can endure the process, but also last for a long time so you don’t need to worry about continual maintenance.

Choosing the Right Materials

The beginning steps of the installation process begin with the materials you choose. Many bathroom stalls are made of solid plastic (HDPE), baked enamel, stainless steel, phenolic plywood, or solid color reinforced composite. While there are many options in materials it is important to understand which material will perform the best in a restroom environment.

In commercial restrooms, humidity and moisture are unavoidable and are always-present factors that can have a negative effect on these different materials. Stainless steel and baked enamel can begin to rust after being surrounded by moisture for a long time.  Due to the composition of Phenolic it is susceptible to mold and mildew growth.  When mold grows, it can result in foul odors that can be difficult to get rid of. When mold is present inside these stalls, you’ll need to find a suitable replacement. You can avoid the foul odors, mold growth, and drop in air quality by choosing a material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene).  This high performance solid plastic features a durable construction that’s resistant to scratches, dents, graffiti, and moisture, providing a long lasting partition for your facility’s restroom.

Planning, Design, and Installation

It’s important to follow guidelines when it comes to planning your facility’s restroom. You should adhere to ADA guidelines to ensure your restroom and its partitions are easily accessible. The restrooms should also be well lit with protective fixtures that are easy to supervise and are fitted with vandal-proof covers.

When it comes to the actual stalls and partitions, there are a few things to consider with installation. There are three different layouts to choose from for your facility; floor mounted overhead braced, ceiling hung and floor to ceiling. Floor mounted overhead braced provided the most economical solution for high traffic areas where durability is top priority. Easy installation in new construction or existing buildings makes this a versatile style option. Each factory drawing is unique depending on manufacturer so it’s important to make sure you understand the drawings and abbreviations used.

Once you understand the dimensions and drawings in a typical restroom design with pilasters and doors you most likely will begin your installation with installing side and back wall brackets. The next step you will take is to attach your pilasters to the floor. The last step is to install your hinges and doors.

If you follow the correct design plans and guidelines, restroom partition and stall door installation in your facility should be relatively easy, and using the right materials will ensure that the partitions will be long-lasting and beneficial for both you and your facility’s occupants.

Daily Facility Maintenance Checklist: Keep Your Facility in Tip-Top Shape

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Your facility is a representation of your business, so why wouldn’t you want it to speak volumes? Future employees, visitors, and clients will walk through the doors and immediately take notice of issues that could sway their opinions. Staying on top of daily facility maintenance is crucial in keeping your facility in tip-top shape.

We’ve compiled this facility maintenance checklist that can be used daily to help spot any potential issues within your facility. You’ll also learn some helpful tips and tricks to make your facility’s clean and inviting appearance last longer.

  1. Take Preliminary Steps Toward a Cleaner Floor 

    One of the first items that should be at the top of your maintenance checklist is cleaning your facility’s floors. Dirty floors are an eyesore. They stick out immediately. The good news is, there are some steps you can take to help avoid tracking in dirt and waste.

    Welcome mats are highly effective in reducing the amount of dirt that makes its way into your facility. It’s smart to have a welcome mat outside the entrance. You’ll also want another mat inside the foyer or lobby to help collect more dirt. Using an exterior and interior mat, you’ll help keep your floors cleaner longer, and potentially reduce maintenance costs.

  2. Keep Storage and Lockers Clean 

    If you have cubbies, lockers, or general storage compartments, you already know how dirty they can get. When they’re constantly being opened, dirt tends to build up, which makes those lockers and cubbies unsightly.

    Whether these compartments get scuffed up or drawn on, you’ll want to ensure that you can keep them as clean as possible. The type of material you choose can play a big role in facility maintenance. For instance, (HDPE) plastic lockers are resistant to scratches, dents, and even unwanted graffiti. Due to its high durability, HDPE never needs to be repainted, resulting in less volatile organic compound emissions that could be harmful if inhaled. It’s also one of the easiest plastics to recycle, so by installing these HDPE compartments, your facility takes a big step toward sustainability.

  3. Spruce Up the Bathroom 

    The next item to address on your maintenance facility checklist is the bathroom. It’s one of the most visited rooms in your facility, and with that much foot traffic, you’ll need to take some steps to ensure a pleasant experience for everyone. It’s always wise to keep plug-in air fresheners on hand, but how are your stalls holding up? This is another area where materials matter, especially when you consider the threat of rust often faced in commercial restrooms. Materials like steel or wood are prone to damage when they encounter moisture. However, other materials like HDPE are completely rust and mildew resistant.

  4. Keep Maintenance Cleaning Materials Stocked 

    Things like cleaning materials, toilet paper, and paper towels should always be on hand with plenty of backup to accommodate higher than anticipated volume. You also want to make sure your waste baskets and trash cans are easily accessible and not tucked in the corner. If they’re easy to get to, waste is more likely to make it in the trash without winding up on the floor.

    By utilizing this facility maintenance checklist daily, you’re on the way to keeping your facility in tip-top shape. If you’re interested in learning more about bathroom cleaning and care, learn more in our article regarding how to care for your commercial bathroom vanities.

In addition, you can download our free eBook, Commercial Restroom Cleaning Checklist, here:

 

How to Conduct an Effective Facility Audit for Your School

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As a school facility manager, it’s important to perform routine facility and safety audits so the students, faculty, and staff can enjoy a comfortable environment while you ensure that everything is up to code. Learning how you can improve your facility or update your systems is crucial.

Here are a few helpful tips to show you the proper facility audit procedures.

Facility Audit

There are many factors at play when it comes to conducting a facility audit. The audit will require time and resources but only to ensure that everything is running as efficiently as possible. Whether you have an outsider come in to inspect or the school district has a professional at their disposal, it’s important to have an updated inventory checklist on hand so the process can be as efficient as possible. The facility audit is performed to gauge the status of your facility and determine if any updates or repairs would be necessary.

Necessary Inspections

When you’re conducting a facility audit, you should have your inventory checklist with the equipment and the date that said equipment was manufactured and installed. This will help the auditor determine the life cycle of the equipment and systems in your facility. By providing the auditor with the necessary resources, the actual audit should be fairly easy to compete.

Facility Audit

The auditor will carefully inspect your HVAC system to determine its quality and effectiveness and if it requires any repairs to pass inspection. If you’ve kept up with routine maintenance, this shouldn’t be a problem. Your water system will also be inspected to ensure the water quality and the functionality of the pumps and pipes.

The grounds of your facility will also be carefully inspected. The auditor will look for any damage to the exterior of the building as well as the quality of the parking lots. The auditor will also assess the landscaping and athletic fields to ensure student safety.

Areas to Focus On

Every facility or school has its weak spots, or areas that require a lot of focus and perhaps even maintenance. Bathrooms can be one of these areas, as several factors can contribute to a less-than-adequate audit. Air quality is an important aspect in the bathroom audit, so as a facility manager, you should take steps to ensure that everything is acceptable and up to par.

Bathrooms can be a breeding ground for mold and fungus, which have a negative effect on the air quality. Due to the overwhelming moisture and humidity, several components of your bathroom can be susceptible to mold growth. Your bathroom stalls and partitions may have mold sprouting inside them, so think about replacing these stalls with a more durable material like HDPE (high-density polyethylene), which is resistant to moisture, scratches, and even graffiti.

If you’ve kept up with your facility’s systems in terms of maintenance and repairs, you should expect good results from an audit. However, a variety of measures can help you to achieve a great audit. You may even want to consider some renovations. Learn more by downloading our eBook The Complete Guide to Renovating Your School’s Locker Room.

Green Buildings: Common Construction Problems and Solutions

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Far from a fad, green building and green design have entered the mainstream. What was once a novelty for designers and architects has now become a staple in the industry. Some of what’s helped to make green buildings so popular is their ability to solve some of the most common construction problems, especially those having to do with energy and water consumption.

In this post, we take a close look at the types of construction problems that can be solved by building green.

Energy Loss through Heating & Cooling Systems

One of the most common construction problems has to do with wasted energy. Architects and contractors are tasked with creating a facility that can optimize energy use. This can be especially difficult with heating and cooling units when doors are frequently opened, letting in outside air. Windows can also be a source of energy loss, allowing air to seep in through cracks or gaps.

To help the HVAC system run more efficiently, you can use energy-efficient windows, which lock in air and block outside air from entering. You can also create a double door entrance to prevent outdoor air temperatures from affecting the indoor climate control system.

This method uses one door that leads from outside into a small room. This climate-controlled room has another door that leads into the rest of the building. This prevents untreated air from rushing into the building or treated air from rushing out every time the door is opened.

Would you like more information about making your building more green friendly? Download our FREE eBook Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom.This free guide will teach you about using recyclable materials, reducing harmful emissions, and much more. 

High Water Consumption in Restrooms

Water consumption is another primary concern when creating a new building, especially if you’re responsible for the building’s future operational costs. Bathrooms are notorious for consuming high volumes of water. Using green building design, you can help to reduce the amount of water used.

This can be achieved by installing low-flow toilets or urinals, which use no more than 1.6 gallons of water with every flush. Similarly, low-flow faucets in the restroom can help to minimize water waste when guests are washing their hands without reducing the effectiveness of the sink itself.

Wasted Energy in Unoccupied Spaces

Facilities waste large amounts of energy (and revenue to pay for that energy) due to lighting unoccupied areas. An easy solution for this common construction problem is to install motion-activated lighting that’s on a timer. This is perfect for buildings that have areas staffed 24 hours as well as areas that are only occupied for part of the day.

These automatic lights replace traditional switches, so there’s no risk of someone accidentally leaving the lights on in an unused area, and it ensures that the lights are only running when needed.