View From the Industry
- By Amy Milshtein
- July 1st, 2019
Thought Leader: Steve Batchelder,
director of sales
for Connectrac, has
traveled across North
America for many
years meeting with
facility managers to better understand the
issues they face and to provide them with
solutions for their everyday problems.
Contact Info: Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How is higher education handling the
growth of both class size and the student
A: Because of limited school funding
and the time it takes to complete new
construction of an entire building,
colleges and universities are looking to
make the best use of existing available
space on campuses to create more
classrooms and laboratories. A popular
trend seen on campuses today is to
remove some of the existing shelving
and other underutilized spaces in
current libraries and convert them over
to classrooms and laboratories to meet
Q: How is higher education creating a
connected environment for students so
they can study and complete assignments
anywhere on campus?
A: The primary focus is on purchasing
furniture that has both power and USB
chargers built into it to make it easier
for students to connect anywhere on
campus. Universities are also looking to
find options that can bring power and
sometimes data out to shared student
locations. This brings opportunities to
utilize never-before powered spaces,
bringing more opportunities to both faculty
Q: What types of new spaces are being
required in today’s connected world and how
is this affecting campus life?
A: There is an emphasis on developing
powered collaborative spaces, whether
it is in an educational building, unused
libraries and classrooms, lobbies,
and even in the common areas of residence
halls. Both students and faculty need
access to charging all of their devices—laptops, tablets, phones—and they
want to work and study in areas that
enable them to be productive, yet
comfortable. In today’s environment,
students want to be connected at all
times and need to have confidence
in their environment that they will be
able to do so.
Thought Leader: John Kim, senior
manager, a mechanical
engineer with over
30 years of experience
manages the INVISTA
high-traffic performance test site and regularly
consults with facility managers to help identify
and resolve carpet maintenance challenges
within high-traffic environments.
Contact Info: John can be reached at John.Y.Kim@invista.com.
Q: How does maintenance affect the
durability of carpet?
A: Carpet is a substantial investment. An
effective maintenance program will extend
the life of your carpet, reduce life-cycle
costs, maximize your investment, and
contribute to a cleaner indoor facility.
When combined with a specification for a
durable carpet fiber like a type 6,6 nylon fourhole
hollow filament, a well-planned, proactive
maintenance program prevents spills from
becoming stains and removes soil before it
can build up and damage carpet fiber. An
effective maintenance program is easy to
implement and includes soil barriers, regular
vacuuming, immediate removal of stains and
spills, and proactive periodic deep cleanings.
Q: Does a carpet fiber specification matter?
A: Absolutely! Carpet is the canvas to the
interior so if the carpet doesn’t perform, the
entire design of the space can be compromised
and require replacement. It also reflects the
image of your campus. If the carpet has
“uglied out,” it may impact whether someone
decides to attend your institution.
Nylon 6,6 carpet fiber provides extensive
resiliency and resistance to matting and
crushing of carpet fiber and is easy to clean.
The cross section of a nylon carpet fiber
can impact soil-hiding ability and texture
retention. A nylon 6,6 fiber shape with a fourhole
hollow filament releases soil better than
a common trilobal shape. We also recommend
looking for carpet with long-lasting or
permanent built-in stain and soil resistance.
Our research, validated by SCS Global
Services, shows that carpets made of
four-hole hollow filament type 6,6 nylon can
last 1.5 times as long as carpets of type 6
nylon. This is based on analyzing data from
ongoing real-world floor tests of 1MM foot
traffics, with nightly vacuuming and hotwater
extraction cleanings while on the floor.
Q: How does carpet impact well being?
A: While facility professionals focus on the
building’s operational efficiency, they also
must consider the well being of students and
staff. A well-maintained, clean carpet can
contribute to a cleaner indoor facility. Carpet
provides an acoustic advantage that can
contribute to student learning and listening.
Not only does carpet cushion our footsteps,
but it can also help minimize injuries like
slips and falls.
Q: Education facilities at all levels are
undergoing quite a bit of change. What is
one trend you are following regarding new
A: At National we are tracking the emerging
trend to include spaces within schools or
universities that are designed for reflection,
or to offer respite. These spaces are primarily
meant to provide students with a chance to
step away from their usual “busyness.” They
may be called a reflection room, meditation
room, mindful room, or even multi-faith room.
Q: Why do today’s students need a place
to get away from their usual tasks or
A: The pressures on students have
multiplied, much as they have for adults.
The push for excellence; the abundance of
extracurricular activities; the all-too-familiar
pattern of mass shootings. Certainly, the
growing influence of social media on young
lives can also exacerbate the stress that
students of all ages are experiencing.
Research shows that the need for
student mental health resources is
increasing. For example, the American
Psychological Association reports a 30
percent increase in college students seeking
on-campus counseling. With 75 percent
of all serious adult psychiatric illnesses
starting by age 25, schools and universities
play an essential role in addressing mental
health issues early.
Q: How are institutions addressing the need
for spaces which allow students to focus on
their mental health?
A: A growing number of institutions are
providing quiet spaces where students can
gather their thoughts, reflect, pray, or meditate.
These spaces may be furnished with soft
seating, floor cushions, or mats. Calming colors
are often used, and soft music may be played.
If practical, these types of rooms or spaces
are located in a quiet part of the building,
with guidelines that restrict group study or
conversation. The use of electronic devices may
be discouraged or prohibited. Additional points
may include restricting food or drink, or the use
of scented candles or incense.
Experts recognize that emotional health
is important for succeeding in school. This
growing trend to provide reflective spaces
is evidence of administrators seeking to
engage students’ spirits as well as their
Thought Leader: Jim Elliott, Midwest /
ProTeam®, is a senior
sales executive with a
passion for calculating
Company: ProTeam, The Vacuum Company
Contact Info: email@example.com or 866/888-2168
Q: Cordless backpack vacuums require a
higher initial investment. How do I determine
the ROI for a cordless backpack vacuum
compared to an upright?
A: When I started in this industry 30 years
ago, you had to really tell the customer
how the math works in their favor. You had
to be able to say, “Here’s how productive
we’re going to be. We can pay for this in
‘X’ number of months.” That’s why, in my
work, my emphasis is still on teaching
and on clearly illustrating the benefits of
new innovative approaches, like cordless
Let’s start with some hard facts about the
productivity advantages of cordless backpack
vacuums over upright vacuums. If you’re
cleaning a 100,000-square-foot facility, you
could realize an annual savings in five figures
simply by switching to a cordless backpack.
How is that possible? Let’s do the math.
We know that a standard upright takes
three to five times longer to clean the same
space as a battery backpack. Tests show
that an upright cleans approximately 2,500
square feet per hour. If you have 100,000
square feet of floor space, it’s going to take
35 hours to clean it with an upright. But
with a cordless backpack vacuum, you can
cover 10,000 square feet per hour. That
means that the same area will take about
9.5 hours to clean. Based on an hourly wage
of $13/hour, the labor savings add up to as
much as $87,000 a year.
Q: Many vacuums improve IAQ. What is the
value of improving IAQ?
A: Although it’s harder to put a price tag
on improving indoor air quality (IAQ), it
certainly benefits a building’s occupants
and its cleaning staff. After all, most of us
spend 80 to 90 percent of our time indoors.
Most upright vacuums kick up the very dust
you’re trying to remove. That isn’t just bad
for IAQ—it eventually settles and needs to
be cleaned again.
Q: Cordless vacuums remove the potential
trip hazard of a cord. What is the value of
A: While we can’t track the savings from accidents
that never happened, we do know that
a single trip-and-fall incident can cost tens of
thousands of dollars in medical and insurance
costs. Of course, providing a safe work environment
isn’t just economical; it’s ethical.
Thought Leader: Emma Skalka, HON.
ASLA, vice president of
Sales and Marketing
for Victor Stanely,
along with Victor
Stanley, a leader in
quality site furnishings,
is helping bring your visions to life.
Company: Victor Stanley, Inc.
Contact Info: Emma can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: How can trash receptacles contribute to
a “smart campus?”
A: Smart campuses aren’t born that way.
They’re intelligently designed. Each trash
receptacle outfitted with street-level sensors
collects data about what’s going on inside and
nearby, from how full it is, to foot traffic, to
shifts in temperature. Consider the dozens or
hundreds of trash cans that already blanket a
campus and you can start to appreciate just
how much information can be gleaned from a
network of connected receptacles.
Campuses can optimize the efficient use of
their resources with this technology. More than
ever, planning and running a smart campus
depends on a steady stream of data that is
secure, accurate, trackable and actionable—providing insight now and for years.
Along with universities, municipalities,
parks, airports, stadiums, and more are
saving an estimated 40-60 percent in
waste management expenses and reducing
their environmental impact with the help
of smart receptacles. Data that is also
helping shift focus on boosting sustainability
and, ultimately, improving quality of life.
Something of central importance to students
and trustees alike.
Q: What are the benefits of “smart” waste
A: Wireless sensors in these receptacles
track how full they are, allowing crews to
know exactly when it’s time to empty each
container, greatly increasing the efficiency of
the process. In Pittsburgh, for example, on any
given day, the system will determine which
cans need to be emptied, and will create
an optimized route to only those containers,
reducing CO2 emissions from the collection
trucks. Based on analysis by Pittsburgh’s
Department of Innovation and Performance,
the Department of Public Works will reduce the
labor hours spent on emptying garbage cans
by at least half, saving millions of dollars.
This will cut the number of employees needed
to empty receptacles around the city from 25
to nine. The 16 workers who will no longer be
needed to collect garbage will be reallocated
to other important tasks.
Q: How do the sensors help?
A: Sensors in the receptacles can measure
the fill level and weight, and provide data
on trash and recycling amounts over time.
Containers can easily be checked online,
and you can even receive notifications via
smartphone or tablet to let you know when
a specific level has been reached, or to alert
you when there is rummaging or irregular
spikes in activity.
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of College Planning & Management.