What Is LEED Certification and How Do You Get Certified?

What Is LEED Certification and How Do You Get Certified?

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What Is LEED Certification and How Do You Get Certified?

What Is LEED Certification and How Do You Get Certified?

Sustainable business sites and projects not only decrease carbon emissions and improve human health, but they also successfully reduce costs and improve energy efficiency. For many sustainability-minded business owners and project managers, LEED certification is a coveted achievement in pursuing environmental excellence.

Let’s examine the basics of LEED certification, what it requires, and how to earn certification for your sites and projects.

What is LEED Certification?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification was developed in 1993  by the Green Building Council to encourage greener building practices. The certification system aims to assist business professionals in making company buildings more sustainable.

Over the past few decades, the LEED framework has expanded to five different certification groups, including:

  • Neighborhood Development
  • Operations and Maintenance
  • Building Design and Construction
  • Interior Design and Construction
  • Residential Homes

Private homes have additional groups to consider when seeking LEED certification, including awareness and education, location and linkage, regional priority, and innovative design.

For a commercial building to obtain LEED certification, it must earn a certain number of points in these categories:

  • Water Efficiency
  • Materials and Resources
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Sustainable Sites
  • Indoor Environmental Quality

LEED Point Levels

The level of LEED certification awarded depends on the number of points the site or project earns during a Green Building Council review. By adhering to LEED certification requirements regarding carbon usage, energy, waste, water, materials, transportation, and environmental quality, sites can earn one of four certification levels:

  • LEED Certification: 40-49 points
  • Silver: 50-59 points
  • Gold: 60-79 points
  • Platinum: 80+ points

How To Get LEED Certification

Earning LEED certification requires more than simply implementing efficient energy solutions in a commercial building. Instead, LEED status indicates a holistic system designed to utilize an array of green building practices to achieve long-term sustainability goals. Building improvements in the five categories mentioned above should aim to sustain water resources, protect the nearby ecosystems, use regenerative materials, enhance community health, and reduce the impact of climate change.

To obtain certification, businesses need to earn a series of prerequisite credits that translate into points. When a business has earned the minimum number of credits required to be considered for certification, the site or project will undergo a review that combines the required credits with points earned on-site. This combined number determines the LEED certification level awarded.

LEED certification is quite flexible, so businesses can choose which guidelines to focus on, depending on their unique business plans.

Becoming certified involves individualized steps in many cases, but the basics of how to get LEED certification include:

  1. Determining your desired level
  2. Selecting the correct rating system to use
  3. Beginning a LEED project
  4. Paying a certification fee
  5. Submitting pertinent data
  6. Waiting for confirmation from the Green Building Council

For additional information or assistance in pursuing LEED certification, contact the US Green Building Council or visit the official website to browse through the library of helpful resources the council has provided.

10 Custodial Trends in Schools to Look Out for in 2022

10 Custodial Trends in Schools to Look Out for in 2022
10 Custodial Trends in Schools to Look Out for in 2022

10 Custodial Trends in Schools to Look Out for in 2022

As the US continues to return children to public schools, many people have questions about how custodial managers plan to ensure optimal cleanliness without disrupting the flow of learning sessions.

Luckily, technology is constantly evolving to adapt to new challenges. Here are some of the custodial trends we expect to improve sanitation efforts in schools during 2022.

#1- Increased Cleaning Frequency

As a part of the effort to keep schools clean, custodial teams may find it beneficial to increase the frequency of their cleaning services.

#2- Equipment Improvements

More efficient cleaning equipment can significantly benefit custodial teams looking to do a more thorough job throughout their shifts.

#3- Better Time Management

Custodial teams may choose to dispatch cleaning services between class sessions. In other words, as soon as students leave the classroom, janitorial professionals will enter to provide a quick and efficient cleaning service as needed.

#4- Automating Services

Automating certain aspects of facility management is another step toward improving custodial services. By adding devices that monitor hallways and restrooms, custodial professionals can be alerted to a hygiene need as soon as it occurs.

#5- New Product Availability

Enhancing the efficiency of cleaning products may prove incredibly useful for custodial professionals. For example, cleaning products that produce fewer chemical odors may allow cleaning staff to perform sanitary procedures without disrupting students and teachers.

#6- Duration Changes

Traffic indicators may aid custodial teams in effectively planning for different cleaning durations. If a particular room or area is only empty for a limited period, cleaning professionals can develop plans for cleaning effectively within a specific timeframe.

#7- Smart Technology

Smart technology may be one of the most promising advancements in the custodial service industry. By using technology, teams can monitor progress, performance, and availability to improve time management and reduce interruptions in inventory levels.

#8- Getting Everyone Involved

In many countries across the globe, it’s common for students and teachers to help keep classrooms and walkways clean. This behavior may become a trend in the US as well, in which students and staff take a few minutes out of each period to tidy up the classroom before the next class starts.

#9- Implementing Data

Data is an essential part of improving sanitation services. By collecting and analyzing information based on performance, cleaning durations, sanitation ratings, and other parameters, custodial teams can determine which aspects of their work need improvements and which can continue as is.

#10- Quality Assurance

Ensuring optimal cleanliness in schools requires an eye for detail. By having professionals and technologies dedicated to improving hygiene practices, custodial managers can monitor the quality of work that goes into each cleaning session. Monitoring and analyzing this information helps teams continue to produce effective results.

Adhering to the best safety and sanitation practices is essential for providing an ideal learning environment. By experimenting with new technologies and exploring new data, custodial teams can adapt to the needs of the educational facilities in which they operate.

8 Reasons Why Using Data Is the Best Way to Understand Your Infrastructure & Business Goals

8 Reasons Why Using Data Is the Best Way to Understand Your Infrastructure & Business Goals
8 Reasons Why Using Data Is the Best Way to Understand Your Infrastructure & Business Goals

8 Reasons Why Using Data Is the Best Way to Understand Your Infrastructure & Business Goals

Numbers and technology play an essential role in how any business performs, including the ability to spearhead new goals and expand operations. 

If you are operating a growing business, take a look at these eight ways to use data to better plan for your company’s future.

#1- Organizing Growth Campaigns

When planning growth campaigns, data analysis is essential in determining which resources are available, which campaign mediums may yield the best results, and what sort of promotional items your company can budget for. 

#2- Enhancing Strategies

Collecting and analyzing data throughout each step in your business strategy can provide management with essential insights regarding which elements perform effectively and which could do with some adjustment.

For example, if your company is launching promotional emails, data can help your marketing team determine which days, times, and subject lines lead to customer interaction.

#3- Asset Maintenance

Data can not only help businesses keep track of the physical assets the team utilizes, but it can also optimate the life cycle of those assets. For example, data can help you monitor maintenance, warranties, repairs, replacements, and other key elements involved in taking care of company property.

#4- Technology and Development

Working with data management professionals helps businesses better understand any reports that the system generates. A data team can keep managers informed about new tech opportunities and patterns that develop as the company continues to grow.

#5- Managing Costs

Keeping track of company processes through effective data collection can shed light on procedures and ventures that are currently out of budget and present cost-saving solutions.

#6- Assessing Performance

Performance analysis can aid managers in planning reasonable business goals that are consistent with employee efficiency. In addition, collecting and analyzing performance data can aid the company in developing better training programs that enhance the company’s potential to grow.

#7- Analyzing Audience Behaviors

Knowledge of a company’s customer base is crucial when it comes to achieving goals and expanding. Analyzing how your customers think and behave can positively influence marketing campaign strategies and other business initiatives.

#8- Adhering to Procedures

Business growth depends on all team members performing in adherence with company protocols and any relevant legal restrictions. By effectively analyzing data, managers can keep an eye out for minor violations before they become a costly, possibly dangerous habit.

Data can tell owners and managers a lot about workplace procedures, new time-saving efforts, smart strategy options, and new trends in the industry. As such, any company operating in today’s economy benefits from in-depth data analysis.

TRAX® Analytics Turns Day-To-Day Management of a Complex Facility Into a Data-Driven Process

TRAX® Analytics Turns Day-To-Day Management of a Complex Facility Into a Data-Driven Process
TRAX® Analytics Turns Day-To-Day Management of a Complex Facility Into a Data-Driven Process

TRAX® Analytics Turns Day-To-Day Management of a Complex Facility Into a Data-Driven Process

For years now, smart technology has been simplifying essential functions of businesses, both small and complex. TRAX Analytics has created and continued to perfect custodial tools that reduce human workloads, improve workplace efficiency, ensure optimal hygiene, and streamline the way complex facilities operate.

Let’s take a brief look at how businesses can use TRAX’s tools to reduce the complexities of managing large facilities.

Real-time Service Requests

TRAX Analytics can monitor an entire facility and create service alerts as soon as an issue occurs. This feature dramatically reduces the need for custodial teams to manually visit and inspect restroom facilities throughout their shifts.

When an error occurs, a restroom runs out of certain items, or sanitation is needed, TRAX technology informs custodial staff immediately so that cleaning professionals can complete tasks quickly and effectively.

Analyzing Performance

TRAX Analytics monitors custodial performances based on both time and quality. Each sanitation procedure allows the technology to collect and analyze data, which helps ensure that a consistent level of care goes into completing services.

The data points out which procedures are completed as effectively as possible, as well as opportunities for improvement. It gathers information about how long a standard cleaning takes, and provides data that custodial teams can use to improve efficiency and reduce the time they spend completing each task.

Managing Schedules and Activity

TRAX tools can be viewed and managed on a single mobile application. As such, managers can develop and launch schedules, inspections, and team member breaks without manually searching for the team members included in a given task.

Additionally, TRAX technology monitors custodial activities and allows cleaning professionals to check off tasks on their to-do lists in real-time. An organized task list helps teams manage time efficiently and reduces the potential to overlook tasks that arise throughout a given shift.

Ensuring Ideal Inventory

To ensure the best possible guest experience, TRAX Analytics makes it easy to determine how much inventory is available in storage and how much is available to use in restroom facilities. When availability levels reach a certain point, restocking alerts automatically trigger. When storage levels reach a certain point, a re-ordering notification will trigger.

With this level of inventory management, facilities never have to run out of soaps, toilet paper, paper towels, and other items needed to ensure cleanliness.

TRAX Analytics creates tools to help businesses keep a constant eye on facility processes. The technology keeps track of facility cleanliness and operations, then alerts custodial teams when a need arises or a scheduled procedure is due. By monitoring inventory, performance, activity, schedules, and service needs, managers and teams alike can reduce the time spent manually checking restroom facilities for issues.

By creating a data-driven process, TRAX Analytics allows day-to-day management to flow with ease, freeing management professionals and custodial teams from time-intensive practices that no longer require a human touch.

Making Your School More Sustainable with Custodial Data Analysis

How Your University Can Use Data Analysis To Improve Your Custodial Services
How Your University Can Use Data Analysis To Improve Your Custodial Services

Making Your School More Sustainable with Custodial Data Analysis

In addition to sanitation, sustainability has become a growing area of concern for custodial managers and school administrators.

Fortunately, implementing smart technology into custodial procedures can not only aid teams in completing more efficient hygiene procedures, but can also help managers and administrators develop plans to adopt more sustainable practices.

Let’s explore how custodial data can be used to benefit sustainability plans.

Inventory Reduction

Keeping schools adequately stocked with inventory (toilet paper, soap, paper towels, sanitary products, etc.) can be challenging for custodial teams. However, the reports generated through custodial data collection can provide valuable insight into how much inventory is typically used during a given timeline.

Basing inventory orders on custodial data can reduce the tendency to order too much or too little, which also reduces the need for an abundance of storage space.

Utility Consumption

Custodial data can also be used to monitor occupancy in classrooms and other areas of school buildings. Doing so can aid custodial teams in creating a plan to reduce utility consumption. For example, automatic or motion-detecting lights can be installed to reduce power waste. Occupancy monitoring can also assist in the creation of plans to utilize heating and cooling more efficiently. For example, turning off thermostats in rooms that are unused throughout most of the year may be an option for utility reduction.

Water Management

Custodial data analysis can also indicate which sinks and toilets receive the most traffic in a school. These highly-frequented facilities can be implemented into water management plans by installing sensors or replacing old taps and toilets with water-saving options. If budget is a concern, adding these new installments to the most frequently used facilities can still help reduce water waste. Over time, these savings may pave the way toward further tap and toilet replacements.

Bin Accessibility

Garbage generation is one of the most difficult areas to address when creating a plan for sustainability. However, with custodial data, teams can carefully analyze school traffic in order to strategize where to place recycling bins.

Because the goal is to make recycling an easy task, placing the bins where they’re accessible but not in the way is a key part of encouraging participation.

Sustainable Changes

Finally, custodial data can monitor the costs associated with keeping schools clean (inventory, equipment, cleaning products). Teams can organize these costs into straightforward reports that facility managers can reference when they are in search of more sustainable products.

Knowing the current costs incurred for regular inventory – like soaps, paper towels, and bin liners – can make cost-saving opportunities easier to gauge. Comparing the lifespan of reusable products with the current cost of disposable products becomes substantially easier when analysis can provide accurate answers.

While a disposable product may appear to be a few cents cheaper than a reusable product on an order form, the potential to save becomes obvious when examining cost reports for that item over a monthly or quarterly timeline.

5 New Ways to Automate Your Facilities Management

5 New Ways to Automate Your Facilities Management
5 New Ways to Automate Your Facilities Management

5 New Ways to Automate Your Facilities Management

Managing extensive facilities comes with a long list of responsibilities, and managers are often relieved when new technologies that aim to simplify the process become available. Intelligent features are frequently being developed and released, and as such, new technologies are regularly available to help reduce human workloads.

Take a look at five new ways to utilize technology to automate aspects of facility management.

#1 - Inventory Monitoring

Automation capabilities make it where custodial staff members do not have to manually keep track of inventory levels throughout the facilities they service. The inventory automation feature monitors the amount of facility-specific items utilized and held in storage. Once levels become low enough, restocking or reordering notifications trigger.

#2 - Shift Organization

Smart systems allow custodial teams to collaborate more easily through a single dashboard. In doing so, managers can keep track of how many staff members work on a given shift, arrange replacements for staff absence, and organize break times in a way that still enables staff to complete as efficiently as possible.

#3 - Efficiency Reports

Data collected is organized from past custodial tasks and generates efficiency reports. Data reports help ensure that work is done throughout each facility and how much time is needed per task.

Additionally, efficiency reports can help custodial teams determine their most effective qualities and review areas where improvements are needed.

#4 - Capacity Management

Technology has made it to where it’s easy to monitor the traffic that passes through a facility at a given time. With capacity management, custodial teams can plan to dedicate longer cleaning times to areas that are most in need.

Capacity warnings can also trigger to let guests know which restroom facilities are currently at low capacity in order to shorten restroom wait times and ensure that enough inventory is available for a comfortable experience.

#5 - Touchless Technology

Touchless technology not only enhances the convenience of public facilities but also aids in preventing the spread of bacteria. Touchless sinks, toilets, soaps, and paper towel dispensers allow guests to use the facilities without contaminating their hands. On top of reducing the spread of bacteria throughout the facility, touchless technology also helps reduce inventory waste, tripping hazards from spilled water, and clogged toilets.

Automation helps to reduce custodial workloads without reducing the quality of work performed. By automating tasks that do not require human labor, facility managers are more equipped to dispatch custodial teams where they’re most needed. This improvement in worker efficiency makes for a cleaner facility, a reduction in waste, and a more positive guest experience.