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Major University Improved Air Quality While Slashing Costs

Paul Cagle
Best Practices, Success Stories

Case Study: Facility department of this university implemented a new cleaning process provided by The King’s, designed to clean for health and eliminate waste.

Facility: Large Midwestern university with more than 4.5 million cleanable square feet.

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Situation: Beginning September 2011, the facility department of this university began cleaning a large academic building with a new cleaning process provided by The King’s, designed to clean for health and eliminate waste. Primary goals were to (1) clean for health first and then appearance; and (2) to provide more service using less staff within the current funding level.

As of the initial measurement period, both goals were achieved. Test results indicated a significant improvement in indoor air quality (IAQ). Simultaneously, the FTE head count of janitorial staff was reduced by 25% from 160 to 120.

Scientific Study: The university environmental health and safety (EHS) department performed indoor air quality testing on five separate days during the second and third week of October 2011. The results of this baseline data were compared to results of the second testing of indoor air quality, which took place the last week of February 2012.

Comparative review of the data showed a significant reduction in airborne contaminants, including but not limited to dust, dust mites, dust mite feces, dead skin cells, fungal spores and mold spores. The reduction of 1.0 micron particles from October 2011 (43%) to March 2012 (24%) was 19%. The reduction of .3 micron particles from October 2011 (31%) to March 2012 (21 %) was 10%.

Results: The Cleaning for Health process improved indoor air quality by 19%. Simultaneously, the FTE head count of janitorial staff was reduced from 160 to 120, a 25% reduction for an estimated savings of more than $1.5 million to the university.

Considering that this new academic building opened in 2010, it is ideal to preserve the long-term value of this new property investment. However, the university believes that cleaning for health first has benefits regardless of the age or technical complexity of a building. The life expectancy of all building assets, such as carpet, hard floor surfaces, paint, computers, class room equipment, etc. is increased by cleaning for health.

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