Environmental Stewardship for Cleaning Services

September 9, 2009  /  office cleaning

Your LEED Existing Building (EB) certification is based on a point system.  A minimum 31 points are needed for LEED certification.  31 points is an attainable score.LEED Existing Building Operations and Maintenance stewardship includes ten basic principles.  Adherence to these principles assures that cleaning services are doing their part toward the overall LEED certification:

  • Clean for health first and appearance second
  • Minimize human exposure to contaminants and cleaning products
  • Recognize cleaning as an environmental health benefit
  • Commit to occupational development of cleaning personnel
  • Communicate the value of healthy buildings
  • Minimize chemical, particle and moisture residue when cleaning
  • Ensure worker and occupant safety
  • Contain and reduce all pollutants entering the building
  • Dispose of cleaning products in environmentally safe ways
  • Establish and document routine maintenance schedules

Cleaning service providers must pay special attention to entrances and exits.  More than 60% of building pollutants enter buildings at these critical points.  Experienced green cleaning service providers place a heavy emphasis on preventive solutions.Usually the best preventive measures are designed to capture dust and dirt before these elements enter the building.  By using proper matting, dirt and dust can be confined to entryways and not spread throughout the building.In efforts to educate and train cleaning services, the U.S. Green Building Council has offers a Custodial Effectiveness Assessment.  The assessment contributes one point toward the LEED certification.The assessment can be used to reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemical, biological and particulate contaminants.  The assessment will assist in establishing, managing and auditing cleaning procedures and processes.  Following the assessment guidelines will detail procedures for preserving air quality, improving occupant health, analyzing building finishes and increasing the efficiency of building systems.  The Custodial Effectiveness Assessment is a terrific place to begin building those LEED credits and outlining a plan for the future.

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