Why Sustainable Cleaning Equipment Matters

While new home construction experienced significant contraction over the last few years, the Floor Care Maintenance - Sustainable Cleaning Equipmentconstruction and remodeling of healthcare facilities has remained strong. As new buildings are being constructed, engineers and contractors continue to design green, sustainable buildings. The benefits of new construction are endless, but most facilities focus on the financial impact such as energy savings, reduced maintenance expenses, and minimizing environmental impact. Much of the effort is put forth during the design and construction phases, however, maintaining a sustainable building requires a concerted effort for the entire life of the facility.

There are a number of factors to keep in mind when selecting cleaning equipment for your certified sustainable facility. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC), as part of their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification program, has identified some very good guidelines for selecting cleaning equipment that supports sustainable building initiatives.

One of the primary requirements recommended by the USGBC is to select cleaning equipment that creates minimal noise pollution. Vacuum cleaners and powered floor cleaning equipment should operate at less than 70dBA. Propane powered floor equipment should operate at less than 90dBA.  There are many products on the market that operate well below these required thresholds.

For battery powered equipment, the USGBC recommends that all products be equipped with environmentally-preferred gel batteries. Gel batteries not only reduce the amount of routine maintenance required for the equipment, but they are also constructed with less harmful ingredients than traditional wet cell batteries.

The final recommendations relate to the design of equipment. Powered equipment products should be designed with ergonomic handles to minimize vibration, reduce noise, and limit operator fatigue. In addition, the equipment should have safeguards such as rollers or bumpers to reduce potential damage to building surfaces.

As healthcare facilities continue to expand and new buildings are constructed, remember that sustainability is a full-time job and should not be forgotten after the grand opening. Follow these recommendations when selecting powered cleaning equipment for your facility.

Paul Lewandowski is the Equipment and Retail Product Manager at the Betco Corporation. He has over 9 years of experience in the janitorial and institutional cleaning business. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family and coaching intramural softball. Click here to contact Paul directly.

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