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How to Reduce Your Facility’s Carbon Footprint

Are you looking for ways to make your facility greener and eco-friendlier? Newer buildings have a great start with using LEED-certified materials and newer practices that can reduce the environmental impact of the facility. But if your facility has already been built before the green movement, you don’t have to worry. There are ways that you can make your facility eco-friendlier. Here are a few steps on how to reduce your facility’s carbon footprint.

Get the Most Out of Your Energy

One of the most efficient ways to reduce your facility’s carbon input is to either reduce your energy use (which is next to impossible) or find ways to use less energy. Any rooms that aren’t being occupied shouldn’t have any electrical equipment running. This includes computers, TVs, and even lights. However, if you don’t think you can run your facility in partial darkness, you may want to invest in solar panels to make your facility a renewable energy source.

Keep Your HVAC System Well Maintained

Did you know that heating, ventilation, and air conditioning are responsible for 40% of all carbon emissions? In order to keep these emissions low, you need to make sure that you keep up with maintenance on your HVAC system to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible. You can also reduce these emissions on especially nice days by opening your windows and turning the system off. That way, fresh air pumps through your facility without any emissions.

Use Green Building Materials

If there’s a remodel or renovation project coming up in your facility, you should utilize green building materials to add to your facility to give it a greener edge. Look for any recycled materials to use in your building. If you have a restroom project in the near future, consider using HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic for your stalls and partitions. This material is highly durable; impact-, dent-, and graffiti-resistant; and 100% sustainable. Not to mention, HDPE outlasts most other plastic materials, and requires very little maintenance and upkeep.

Use Low-Energy Lightbulbs

While it may seem like a tedious process, it certainly helps reduce the energy bill. Using LED lights can greatly reduce your energy consumption because they only use 10 watts, while bulbs like incandescent lights use up 60 watts. If you do the math, you’ll see huge savings when the energy bill comes in.

Boost Your Recycling

A lot of facilities fall short in this category, but you don’t have to. Consider getting more recycling bins for your building and have them placed in convenient high-traffic areas. Educate the occupants on the benefits of recycling, and even what can be recycled. By implementing a rejuvenated recycling plan, your facility can help pave the way to a greener future.

Are you ready to start reducing your facility’s carbon footprint? Check out this eBook, Sustainable Building Products: How to Make Your Facility Eco-Friendly from Top to Bottom, from us at Scranton Products.

Your Back-to-School Cleaning Plan & Checklist

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To a school facility manager, the end of summer is an exciting and busy time. While you may have kept up with some routine maintenance and cleaning throughout the off-season, now it’s time to really get started on preparing the building for the upcoming school year. This means getting a back-to-school cleaning plan and checklist together to make sure that you cover all your bases so your school building can be ready to start the school year off on the right foot.

Clean Those Hallways.

It’s important to give your hallways a thorough cleaning before the school year begins. Most germs and bacteria are picked up through foot traffic, and more often than not, those germs end up in the hallways. Utilizing a strong disinfectant cleaner can help combat the spread of germs. However, there are green cleaning products on the market that can help you achieve germ removal and still keep harmful chemicals from contaminating the air.

Focus Your Efforts in the Restroom/Locker Rooms.

School restrooms and locker rooms are a breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and, of course, mold. While a thorough cleaning can help reduce the growth and spread of mold, it may already be too late. The constant presence of moisture can actually cause mold to sprout inside your partitions. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace them. But why not replace them with a material that can resist mold growth, such as HDPE (high-density polyethylene)?

Test Your Water & Air Quality.

Be sure to check your air and water quality to see if it’s up to code. Find a water tester in the area to help you conduct these routine tests so you can see where the quality lies. If the result isn’t as high as you’d hoped, consider replacing the filtration system. When it comes to air, there are several ways that you can do your part increase the quality. Consider getting indoor plants, utilize HDPE building materials, and have your HVAC system checked for any issues.

Clean/Replace Lockers.

You may not realize this, but lockers are a hotbed for germs. When the light catches them just right, you can see the assortment of finger prints, grease, and smudges that have built up over time. You can utilize cleaning products, but if there’s any rust or exterior damage, you may want to consider replacing them. Luckily, HDPE plastic lockers don’t rust, they don’t easily damage, and they’re resistant to graffiti, helping you maintain your facility without having to paint over them. HDPE lockers can also help improve the school’s air quality. This material is also low maintenance, which helps you save time and money on your school cleaning checklist!

Was this back-to-school cleaning plan and checklist helpful in showing you the many ways that you can help get your school ready for the sudden influx of students? Do you want to find ways to make your school a safer and more sustainable environment for the students? Check out this eBook, Safe School Design: How Architecture Plays a Role in Creating Safe & Secure Educational Spaces, from your friends at Scranton Products.

 

How HDPE Can Save Your Facility Maintenance Costs

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When it’s time to start a lengthy renovation project in your facility, or you’re about to break ground, it’s important to use the right materials for the job. Not only do you want building materials that are sturdy and reliable, but you want something that’s going to save you maintenance costs in the long run. That’s why a lot of facility managers are utilizing HDPE (high-density polyethylene) as materials in their bathroom for partitions, stalls, and even vanities. If you’re a facility manager who’s in the process of deciding on these types of materials, you may want to learn a little more about HDPE and the benefits of choosing it.

HDPE & Durability

The most expensive form of maintenance is usually the regretful replacement. Whether your stall or partition was damaged beyond repair, or it’s infested with mold, having to replace the entire piece can not only be expensive, but also time-consuming.

HDPE offers a highly durable solid plastic construction that can outlast most other materials when it comes to impacts. Most plastic materials show a sign of damage, whether it’s a dent, a scratch, or even a hole. HDPE has an impact resistance that’s almost 60 times greater than that of other plastics and even metal, meaning it won’t scratch or dent, leaving you with a reliable material that you won’t have to replace any time soon.

Standing Up to the Elements

You’d be surprised at the amount of damage caused by humidity and moisture, especially when it comes to the materials that you choose in your bathroom, where these two elements are a constant presence. Most plastic partitions have a foam or core interior, which over time, becomes tainted by the moisture and begins to sprout mold, resulting in a foul smell and a significant drop in air quality.

HDPE, on the other hand, can stand up to humidity and moisture because it’s a solid piece of plastic with no soft and foamy inner core. Installing HDPE in your facility’s restroom will not only prevent mold from growing on/in the plastic, but it’ll help keep your air quality in good standing. You’ll save yourself from a costly replacement by using HDPE stalls and partitions.

Easy to Clean

One of the major benefits that HDPE has over other materials is that it’s very easy to clean. Other materials will not only absorb germs, but when there’s graffiti present, the piece requires a paint job. Not only does this add to the costs, but it brings your air quality down due to VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions. HDPE doesn’t require any strong expensive cleaning products or paint. Any smudge, dirt, or even spray paint can simply be wiped away, saving you both time and money on your maintenance and cleaning.

Was this article helpful at showing you how you can save on maintenance costs by implementing HDPE in your facility? If you want more information, you can always download eBooks like Choosing Bathroom Materials or The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Showers & Dressing Compartments FAQs

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If your facility features a shower area or even dressing compartments, it’s important that you’re using the right materials to make sure that occupants or employees are comfortable, as well as covered with privacy. There are a variety of materials that are in use, but none of them compare to HDPE in terms of durability, security, and sustainability. So, if you’re considering using HDPE showers or dressing compartments, here are some answers to the most common questions that facility managers have.

Get started by looking for the question(s) that’s most relevant to you so you can learn the answer!

How Are These Showers/Dressing Compartments Stronger Than the Standard Materials?

Most facility showers and dressing compartments are made from steel, coated steel, or even phenolic plastic, which can be strong and provide adequate privacy for anyone who’s washing or even changing. However, most of these materials seem strong on the surface, but can be easily scratched or dented, resulting in an eyesore on your shower stall. HDPE plastic is solid and durable. As it’s a solid piece of plastic, it will resist dents and scratches.

How Are They Affected by Humidity and Moisture?

Humidity and moisture are a common threat in your bathrooms, shower facilities, and changing areas. Most of the materials used for showers and dressing compartments have a plastic exterior, but with a softer inner core that’s susceptible to mold growth due to the constant exposure to moisture. Once mold is inside, these materials need to be removed and replaced. HDPE showers and changing compartments are a solid plastic, making them impenetrable to moisture, and they can easily stave off mold growth. These HDPE materials will help you keep your air quality high.

Can They Provide Enough Privacy?

Absolutely! HDPE shower stalls and dressing compartments can be tailored to fit any designated area. You can select your preferred height and width, as well as custom make an ADA-compliant shower stall. Your shower and dressing compartment occupants will be satisfied with the level of privacy that HDPE compartments and stalls provide.

Is There a Lot of Expensive Upkeep?

You’ll be happy to know that HDPE plastic is a low-maintenance building material. Due to the resistance to mold growth, they won’t need to be replaced early in their cycle. As for any stains or blemishes on their surface, they can easily be wiped away without a rigorous and extensive cleanup.

How Long Will These Stalls and Compartments Last?

These HDPE stalls and compartments will last for a long time. Because they’re durable, they won’t endure any surface damage, and due to the low-cost maintenance, these stalls and compartments will eventually pay for themselves after only a few years. These materials are also sustainable, and they’re made from both pre- and post-consumer material, making them up to 100% recyclable.

Want to learn more about how HDPE stalls and compartments would be a great material for your facility? Check out our free eBook, The Professional’s Guide to Commercial Bathroom Renovations and Remodels, from your friends at Scranton Products.

Creating a Safe Learning Environment Through Facility Maintenance & Management

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One of the most important components of a person’s ability to learn is their environment. Whether it’s a young child or an adult college student, the facility in which they’re being educated directly affects their ability to learn. As a facility manager, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure that you’re creating a safe learning environment through facility maintenance and management.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make sure that your facility is well maintained and managed in the hopes of it being perceived as a safe learning environment.

Air Quality

While air quality is important to consider on all levels, it can actually have a direct effect on a person’s ability to learn. If your facility has poor indoor air quality, it could lead to students having irritated eyes, upper respiratory infections, headaches, and even sleepiness—not exactly a recipe for improved learning.

You can take several steps in your facility maintenance and management plan to increase the quality of your air. One involves having clean floors. While mopping and vacuuming can be effective, one way to stop allergens and other harmful materials is through floor mats. Large floor mats placed outside and inside can catch some of these materials and prevent them from entering the air. Be sure to have the floor cleaned at least twice a week. If you’re using a vacuum, it’s always a good idea to clean out the filter regularly.

Cleaner Restrooms

The quality of air in restrooms can be questionable. Humidity and moisture tend to build up in bathrooms, which then can result in mold and fungus. While air fresheners in your facility maintenance plan can be useful for combating the odors in the bathroom, the culprit may be your stalls and partitions.

Bathroom partitions are constantly subjected to moisture and humidity, mold can eventually grow inside the stalls, which will continuously drop the air quality. By, Investing in HDPE (high-density polyethylene) stalls  it can  help to prevent the growth of mold. HDPE is resistant to moisture and a more durable material than those found in most stalls.

Reducing Graffiti

While art is important in a person’s education, said art should only be placed on a designated canvas. Graffiti is a common scourge to facility surfaces like lockers and bathroom stalls. Painting over the graffiti is a common answer to the problem, but not only will it invite more graffiti, the paint could put VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions into the air.

In this instance, using HDPE lockers for your facility maintenance and management plan has numerous benefits. The material is resistant to graffiti and scratches, so it doesn’t require you to repaint it. Any drawing or writing can be easily wiped away without having to risk the air quality during graffiti removal.

Better Ventilation

It’s always good to check the ventilation system to make sure that everything is working properly. Discomfort can be a huge distraction when trying to learn, so providing a comfortable environment is crucial. Make a point to continuously check your heating and ventilation systems to ensure that they’re performing as expected without any waste in energy.

We hope that these facility maintenance and management tips will help to promote a safer learning environment in your school or facility. If you want to learn even more about how you can create a safe learning environment, check out our Hiny Hiders case study and learn how HDPE bathroom stalls helped the Dallas Independent School District.