Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Stephen Ashkin opines on LEED EB:OM

December 1, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, IN — After attending and presenting at the recent U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild Conference in Phoenix November 11–13, 2009, green cleaning and sustainability advocate Stephen Ashkin notes a change in the direction of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB:OM) that could have major implications for the professional cleaning industry, according to a press release.
According to Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, the LEED EB:OM protocol is designed to address many of the daily operations of buildings with considerable emphasis on cleaning and maintenance, the release stated.
Ashkin said: "I believe we are now at a tipping point regarding LEED for Existing Buildings. At the conference, a strong message was delivered on the importance of addressing the millions of existing buildings adopting the LEED EB:OM protocol. This is so important for the [cleaning] industry because green cleaning is no longer viewed as just a requirement for LEED certification; [instead,] it plays a key, ongoing role in keeping facilities green and sustainable. It rewards healthier, more thorough cleaning and encourages building owners and managers to invest in more effective, high-performing cleaning strategies."
Among the LEED EB:OM requirements are: Purchasing and using green and sustainable cleaning products for hard floors, carpets and other surfaces; developing strategies for the safe handling of all cleaning products; training cleaning professionals on the hazards, use, disposal and recycling of cleaning chemicals; and collecting building occupant feedback to evaluate and improve new cleaning technologies, procedures and processes.
LEED EB:OM is a rating system based on a set of performance standards for the sustainable and ongoing operations of buildings not undergoing major renovations, the release noted.
Ashkin has been involved with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) since 1993 and is a former member of its national board of directors, the release added.
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