Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SETTING THE SUSTAINABILITY AGENDA

By: Fiona Reynolds 
While many sustainable investors and environmental groups were dismayed by the recent US election results, it is important to recognise that the election of Donald Trump—and to a large extent Brexit in the UK—reflects a growing unhappiness and dissatisfaction on the part of millions of people who feel that existing financial systems, policymakers and structures are not working in their favour.
The PRI recognises that many people across the world feel left behind by globalisation and are still feeling the outcomes of the global financial crisis.
They have seen Wall Street bailed out, while they have been left with the bill, and to struggle with cuts in services, the loss of jobs and real wages in decline.
This work aligns closely with the PRI’s mission, which calls for it to promote a sustainable global financial system that supports long-term value creation and benefits the environment and society as a whole. It also aligns to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) announced last year, notably, SDG1, whereby a healthy financial system can help curb income inequality.People are looking for something different, for markets and a system that works for them, not against them, which is why the PRI is undertaking work, in collaboration with our signatories, on creating a more sustainable financial system.
On a practical level, convincing the President-elect that his mandate to stimulate growth and re-energise the job market by improving ageing US infrastructure would benefit from a sustainable focus is a challenge that investors groups should rise to.
No one can dispute that America’s dilapidated roadways, bridges, waterways, electricity grid, telecommunications and other essential services are desperately in need of modernisation.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has estimated that $3.6 trillion would need to be invested in US infrastructure by 2020 just to raise the country’s support systems to acceptable levels. From a commerce standpoint, America’s crumbling infrastructure is undermining its productivity and competitiveness.
A smart way for the President-elect to begin his mandate would be to invest in sustainable infrastructure projects that create jobs and use the latest technologies and innovation but do not harm the environment and are “climate proofed” for the future. The commercial reality is that, given investors are adapting to the “new normal” of a low/no return environment, marrying patient capital with long-term sustainable investing makes perfect sense.
Another opportunity is construction. Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In the US, buildings account for almost 40 per cent of national CO2 emissions and out-consume both the industrial and transportation sectors.
Trump has built his fortune as a property tycoon and investors are keenly aware that ensuring buildings are constructed to the highest environmental standards results in longer term profitability. As the demand for more sustainable building options increases, green construction is becoming increasingly profitable and desirable in commercial, industrial and residential markets. Global property developers appreciate that well-constructed and efficiently-run buildings will have reduced energy costs, attract responsible long-term investors and be able to command the highest rents.
Then there are the declining costs of clean energy and the fact that the renewable energy sector continues to be a bright spot for job creation.  According to the International Renewable Energy Association, global renewable energy employment increased by 5 per cent in 2015 to reach 8.1 million jobs.
It is through infrastructure upgrades and green property that the Trump administration may come round to the sustainability agenda by recognising the commercial realities and requirements of today’s investors.
It is also worth remembering that individual states in the US such as California—which has adopted higher emissions reductions targets than those set at the federal level—Vermont, Washington, New York, Oregon and a host of other states have strong climate policies in place, which will be independent of policies at the federal level. Climate-change related occurrences such as storm surges are expected to cause more than $500 billion in property damage in the US by the year 2100.
Before his inauguration on January 21, the President-elect has already felt pressure from businesses to stay the US course on climate change.  At COP 22, 360 businesses, including DuPont, Gap Inc, General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprises, Hilton, HP Inc., and Kellogg Company to name a few, urged Trump to honour the Paris climate agreement and continue to support bold action to reduce emissions.

China in the ascendancy on green finance
But regardless of what happens in the US, other countries are not standing still on climate policies.  During COP22, China renewed its commitment to reducing emissions and to its wider green finance agenda. Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, noted in a speech that climate and green investment has a vital role to play in transforming China’s economic structure.
Zhenhua further said that co-ordination is needed to attract green investment and that policymakers need to work out both economic and environmental policies. This includes promoting innovative, high-tech industries.
China’s leadership on green finance raises another issue for the US, namely, that the US will not want to get left behind and watch other countries surge ahead in green design, technology and innovation, all of which are fundamental to a dynamic economic future.
China was not the only country at COP22 to speak out on the momentum around climate initiatives.  French President Francois Hollande said the Paris Agreement “is irreversible”.
In a speech at COP22, he said: “The United States the first economy in the world, second emitter of greenhouse gases, must respect the commitments that were made.”
The PRI spearheads new initiatives on climate change
Amid the COP22 backdrop, it was a busy time for the PRI.  We launched new guidance, Green equity investing, at a Chinese government event and formally announced a deforestation partnership with Ceres, and supported the launch of a UN Global Compact platform to mobilise business action to support The Paris Agreement. We also participated in a Sustainable Stock Exchanges session, Fostering Green Capital Markets in the South, during which we called on exchanges to support the FSB Task Force Disclosure Framework and promote green investment.
Looking ahead, the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures – of which the PRI chair is a member – will release draft recommendations on company disclosure on climate change on 14 December. Ensuring that investors have consistent and reliable data on how companies are addressing the material financial risks around climate change, is vital to making sound investment decisions.
The PRI encourages corporates and investors, both large and small, to engage the new US administration, not only because they appreciate the issues at stake, but because they can speak to the President-elect in language that he will understand.
Direct engagement is now the task at hand, so let’s focus on the opportunities to move the sustainability agenda forward.
Read more about sustainability here - sustainable

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bills would crack down on bedbugs in hotels, resi buildings

Rafael Espinal and bedbugs
New legislation aimed at curtailing bedbug outbreaks across New York City will be introduced in the City Council on Tuesday.

One bill will require hotels to have exterminators in to inspect all rooms for the bugs every six months, the New York Daily News reported. A second bill will force the city to publish reports every year that outline the number of bedbug complaints and violations in apartment buildings, along with the average time it takes for infestations to be resolved. 


Under the new laws, the city would also have to publish a map — which would be updated every three months — showing the locations of bedbug complaints and whether or not they have been resolved. Council member Rafael Espinal is behind the legislation.

“Everyone hates bedbugs — they prey on human flesh and cause huge expenses,” he said, according to the paper. “Tenants, homeowners and business pay hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to exterminate an infestation and replace damaged furniture and clothing.”

Under current laws, landlords are required to notify potential tenants about any bedbug infestations that have happened in the past year.
In September, “This American Life” creator Ira Glass and his wife were sued by their condo board, which alleged the couple had failed to address a bedbug infestation in their apartment. [NYDN] — Miriam Hall

About Guardian Pest Control

Successful pest control doesn’t just start with science – it continues day in and day out to help ensure your property is protected from pests and the damage they can do. Every Guardian Pest Control Specialist is trained to assess your building’s unique characteristics, then implement and monitor an Integrated Pest Management plan based in science…created just for you.

What is Integrated Pest Management? Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest control that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in conjunction with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. What type of pests do we help with?
·        Bed bug detection and elimination
·        Bird control and management
·        Chute Management
·        Crawling Insects (roaches, ants, termites, spiders, etc.)
·        Fly management and drain cleaning
·        Flying Insects (flies, bees, wasps, etc.)
·        Mice
·        Rats
When you choose Guardian’s Integrated Pest Management Plan, you choose a program backed by scientific research and proven results.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Guardian Presents - Black Friday Deal

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Combining technology with more than 98 years of innovative experience, we address all of your facility requirements, inclusive of janitorial, security, engineering, window cleaning and pest control.  In honor of Black Friday, book a Guardian specialist to assess your property and if you choose us as your facility partner, receive 8% off your 1st bill. ----- Offer ends December 2, 2016.


About Guardian
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Guardian is CIMS Green Building certified with honors by the ISSA – Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association and our management team includes LEED Certified professionals that have helped preeminent facilities achieve LEED certification.
Premier companies, government authorities, and global hubs of transportations rely on our services and the quality of our deliverables to maintain safe, secure, green and clean facilities. In fact, Guardian Service Industries’ expertise and established track record makes us the leader in maintaining commercial facilities and residential communities throughout the Northeast since 1918. Contact Us - http://www.guardian-service.com/contact/

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Preventing Frozen Pipes for Businesses

Step to prevent frozen pipes.

Cold temperatures can reach areas of your facility that you cannot see or seldom visit, such as:
  • Crawl spaces;
  • Closets;
  • Enclosed spaces (e.g., attics, lofts, roof spaces);
  • Warehouses; and
  • Isolated storage areas.
Cold weather preparedness is important to help reduce potential business interruptions and related losses resulting from cold temperatures.


Domestic Water Piping

In severe cold, water pipes have the potential to freeze and break. If safe to do so, make sure pipes that are located in isolated and/or poorly heated spaces are shut off and drained or protected with a supplemental heating source.

Protect Your Fire Protection Sprinklers

Fire protection sprinkler systems are dependent on the ability of water to flow freely when needed. Ensure that wet piping systems, which may be subject to cold temperatures, are sufficiently heated to prevent freezing.
Severe cold weather can also delay the response time of the local fire department; therefore, it is imperative to properly maintain your fire protection systems.
Lastly, if heating is lost in a building protected by wet sprinklers, it should be restored immediately. Only after exhausting all options to re-establish sufficient heat, sprinkler systems should be shut off and completely drained. If this is necessary, be sure to take appropriate precautions, including notifying local fire officials and Travelers by using the Travelers impairment notification program “Fire Protection Impairments – Are You Prepared?”
Some prevention strategies to consider:
  • Properly insulate and/or provide approved heat tracing for water-filled pipes located in exterior walls or unheated spaces.
  • Drain any piping that is not required during the winter months, if possible.
  • Maintain a minimum temperature of 40° F (4.4° C) in building areas with processes susceptible to freezing, wet-pipe sprinkler systems, fire pump houses and dry-pipe valve enclosures.
  • Ensure that anti-freeze sprinkler systems have sufficient concentration (appropriate specific gravity readings) of antifreeze to withstand freezing weather.
  • Inspect dry systems to help ensure air settings are correct, air maintenance systems are in good operating condition, and any pipe closets are well insulated. If any heat tape or heating systems are being used, ensure that they are UL-listed for this specific purpose and are in good operating condition. Dry-pipe sprinkler systems low points and auxiliary drains should be opened and drained of any water or condensation.
  • Any branch lines on wet sprinkler systems exposed or subject to extreme cold weather should be insulated and heat traced. Electric heat tracing should be UL-listed for this specific purpose.
  • Fire pump test headers should be checked to ensure they have been properly drained.
  • Fire pump and dry-pipe sprinkler system equipment rooms should be checked routinely to ensure the heaters are in good operating condition.
  • The use of low temperature supervision can help to ensure rooms are being properly heated.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

New York Mayor Signs Green Building Bills

Credit: Environmental Protection

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed 10 pieces of legislation into law on Oct. 31, including three green buildings bills – Intros. 1163-A, 1160, and 1165, that involve energy and water benchmarking, lighting retrofitting, and sub-metering requirements for mid-size buildings. Together, these bills are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 250,000 metric tons and spur retrofits in 16,000 buildings, according to city officials, who said the measures offer additional support for the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, its OneNYC goal.

"This administration has dedicated itself to building a foundation and a future for the next generation of New Yorkers," said de Blasio. "In order to do that, we must work together as a city to fight one of our biggest threats, climate change. With these three bills, we are taking another step towards reaching our OneNYC goals and protecting the greatest city in the world. I would like to thank the Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, for her continued support of these initiatives and goals. I would also like to thank Council Member Costa Constantinides, sponsor of Intro. 1160; Council Member Daniel Garodnick, sponsor of Intro. 1163-A; and Council Member Donovan Richards, sponsor of Intro. 1165."
"The legislation being signed into law today reflects our shared commitment to a New York that strives to best serve New Yorkers," said Mark-Viverito. "From enhancing green building standards to protecting the cafeteria workers who make so many of our food service spaces run, we have worked to build a New York that will be there for its residents both today and in the future. Importantly – increasing the demographic information collected through our city agencies will help target services more effectively going forward, as publishing the NYPD patrol guide will act as a major step in improving transparency and police-community relations in the neighborhoods being aided by those services."

1163-A requires mid-size building owners to report bench-marking data on their whole building energy and water usage to the city -- information already gathered from large buildings. Intro. 1160 requires mid-size building owners to install sub-meters in non-residential tenant spaces and report energy usage to the tenant, something also already required in large buildings. And Intro. 1165 requires owners of mid-size buildings to retrofit the lighting systems in non-residential spaces to comply with the New York City Energy Code by 2025, as is already required for larger buildings.
"Buildings account for more than two-thirds of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, which we have pledged to reduce 80 percent by 2050," said Daniel Zarrilli, senior director of Climate Policy and Programs and Chief Resilience Officer for the Office of the Mayor. "Today's local law updates to expand bench-marking, install sub-meters, and upgrade lighting systems help to provide the key information that is required for building managers to understand and reduce their energy use. This is part of a continuing effort to upgrade buildings across the city, consistent with the recent enactment by the Department of Buildings of the 2016 Energy Code, as we work to build a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable city."

Friday, November 18, 2016

What Is A Green Building?

Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to both a structure and the using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.[1] In other words, green building design involves finding the balance between homebuilding and the sustainable environment. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages.[2] The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.[3]


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings which was Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. Other certificates system that confirms the sustainability of buildings is the British BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) for buildings and large scale developments. Currently, World Green Building Council is conducting research on the effects of green buildings on the health and productivity of their users and is working with World Bank to promote Green Buildings in Emerging Markets through EDGE Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies Market Transformation Program and certification.[4]

Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective of green buildings is to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation[3]

A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally.[5] Other related topics include sustainable design and green architecture. Sustainability may be defined as meeting the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.[6] Although some green building programs don't address the issue of the retrofitting existing homes, others do, especially through public schemes for energy efficient refurbishment. Green construction principles can easily be applied to retrofit work as well as new construction.

A 2009 report by the U.S. General Services Administration found 12 sustainably-designed buildings that cost less to operate and have excellent energy performance. In addition, occupants were overall more satisfied with the building than those in typical commercial buildings.These are eco-friendly buildings.[7]

References
  1. Jump up^ Yan Ji and Stellios Plainiotis (2006): Design for Sustainability. Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press. ISBN 7-112-08390-7
  2. Jump up to:a b U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (October 28, 2009). Green Building Basic Information. Retrieved 
  3. Jump up^ Allen & Iano, 2008[Allen, E, & Iano, J. (2008). Fundamentals of building construction: materials and methods. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  4. Jump up^ GSA Public Buildings Service Assessing Green Building Performance

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

How green cleaning changed my life and family

By: Maria Lally / From: The Telegraph 
Like most of the changes I make in life, it started small. My daughters, Sophia, six, and Rosie, three, both have eczema. So a few years ago, tired of endless steroid creams, I noticed some natural, fragrance-free washing capsules in the supermarket and decided to try them out.
They made a small but welcome difference to the girls’ skin and since then I’ve never looked back. I then swapped my bright-orange, chemical-smelling kitchen spray for a rose-petal pink one from natural-cleaning brand Method.
Before I knew it, I was cleaning my microwave with lemon halves, after seeing something about it on Pinterest.
And it seems I’m not alone in my green cleaning obsession… 
Green cleaning has gone from hippy-ish to mainstream and glossy
Gwyneth Paltrow recently dedicated a post on Goop, her lifestyle blog - entitled ‘The Dirty on Getting Clean’ - to going green around the home. ‘In a world that sadly is growing ever more toxic by the day, we like to be smart where we can,’ she wrote.
‘Life is about balance. I will never give up my perfume, but maybe I can switch to greener and unscented laundry detergent.’ She also mentioned several of her favourite products. 
Another Hollywood actress, Jessica Alba, has created a billion-dollar business selling natural cleaning products. The idea came to her when she was pregnant, in 2008, with her first child.
After her baby shower, Jessica – who suffered allergies on and off as a child – washed a batch of babygros in regular washing powder and broke out in a skin rash. 
Later that night, she Googled the ingredients used in cleaning products and discovered that some toxins can legally be labelled as ‘fragrance’. So she decided to develop and sell her own natural cleaning products. The result was Honest, which launched in 2011 after the birth of her second daughter. It sells non-toxic household, baby and beauty products, and was recently valued at an astonishing $1.7 billion.

So it’s fair to say that green cleaning, like clean eating and clean beauty, has gone from niche, and perhaps a little hippy-ish, to mainstream and glossy in the past few years. 
Indeed, UK sales of Method (a best-selling natural cleaning range) increased by 24.2 per cent to £7.4million last year, and the US brand Earth Friendly, which sells products from air fresheners to laundry detergents at Lakeland and Holland & Barrett, saw its European sales grow by 29 per cent in 2014 alone. 
‘With widespread press coverage on environmental issues such aswaste plastic in UK waterways and global oceans, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the products they are choosing,’ says Clare Burke, head of marketing for Method and Ecover – two of the biggest green cleaning companies in the UK, which merged four years ago. 
Now I’m as careful about my cleaning products as those I put on my face
Method was started 15 years ago by two friends in San Francisco. One worked in climate change and the other was a visual designer.; one cared about sustainability and the other wanted to create beautiful cleaning products that homeowners would want to show off, rather than hide under their sink.
‘Since then,’ says Saskia van Gendt, a scientist and head of sustainability at the company, ‘there has been a shift. People want to make small changes to help the environment.’ 
Van Gendt says the recent microbead scandal is a good example of our growing awareness of the everyday products around our home, and the effect they have on our health and the environment.:38
‘People are becoming more informed,’ van Gendt continues, ‘questioning what they’re eating, using on their skin and around their home.’ 
Victoria Reynolds, a 44-year-old from Surrey, says she started going greener around her home after suffering from eczema and dry skin on her hands and body. ‘I’ve always had really sensitive skin, so for the past few years I’ve swapped a lot of my usual beauty products for natural brands, like Dr Hauschka and Kiehl’s. 
‘Then I realised that a lot of the cleaning products I was using were full of chemicals, smelt really strong and were fake, bright colours. So I started using brands such as Method, Ecover and E-cloth, which cost the same and do just as good a job as the products I was using before. 
‘Now I’m just as careful about which cleaning products I use as I am about what I put on my face or in my bath. After all, there’s little point buying a beautiful organic bath oil if you pour it into a bath that’s been cleaned with harsh chemicals.’ 
‘Traditional cleaning products contain a vast numbers of ingredients,’ says Dr David Santillo, a senior scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter.
 ‘If you look back 40 years, most people used vinegar to clean their windows and bicarbonate of soda to clean their saucepans. Since then, manufacturers have created hundreds of products with complex mixtures of chemicals.
'Without wanting to spread fear, it is inevitable that the more you’re exposed to, the higher your chance of experiencing problems such as skin irritation or feeling unwell.
'This is especially true where chemicals accumulate, such as carpet cleaners or air- freshening sprays that settle and build up over time.’  
A recent study by the University of Bergen, Norway, found that people who use harsh modern cleaning products are at greater risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes conditions such as bronchitis and emphysema.
‘We need to start being much more aware of the chemicals we’re releasing into the air we breathe when we use things like cleaning spray,’ says Øistein Svanes, the study’s author. 
Or, as Dr Santillo puts it: ‘Ask yourself if all these products and chemicals are necessary? If you’re not comfortable using bicarb or vinegar, look for simpler products that many reputable companies are launching, which contain fewer chemicals and are kinder to your health and the environment.’
Mark Jankovich, a former banker, is now the CEO of Delphis Eco, which launched a range of domestic eco-friendly cleaning products last month. ‘I gave up banking to do something more useful, then I noticed everybody wanted to be a little bit more sustainable,’ he says.
His green-cleaning company now has two royal warrants, supplying products to the Queen and the Prince of Wales, as well as schools and offices.
‘The parents at school loved our products and wanted some to use at home, so we’ve just launched a consumer range,’ says Jankovich. This includes a bathroom cleaner, washing-up liquid, hand soap and a ‘fantastic oven cleaner used at Clarence House’, with plans for more.
‘The green-cleaning tipping point is here,’ he adds. ‘Children are being taught how to go green at school, people are searching for green cleaning on Pinterest and parents are questioning the products being used around their homes. 

‘After all, you don’t need a study to tell you that something that’s bright blue or smells completely fake probably isn’t that great for your health or the environment, do you?’ 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

3 Ways Turnstiles Can Reduce Active Shooter Risk

By
 Tammy Waitt
 & 
Guest Editorial by Mike McGovern, Automatic Systems

Active Shooter Incident Planning and Risk Abatement are among the most discussed topics lately in the news and in our security professional circles – largely due to the all-too-frequent deadly incidents in our lives and work as security professionals. A properly designed and implemented entrance control system – usually involving some form of pedestrian entrance control such as optical turnstiles, mechanical turnstiles, or portals – can have a major role in the deterrence of such an occurrence.
It seems that at least once every month another shooting incident is being reported somewhere, in the USA, Canada, anywhere in the world. No commercial, public, private, or government entity is immune from the threat, and we know that security leaders, government leaders, and others are continuously looking for ways to better prepare for the unthinkable event.
As security professionals, we know that much thought and preparation must go into both preventing and responding to these incidents in ways that reduce harm and save lives. In his article “Active Shooters are Meticulous Planners  – Are You?” John P. Torres of Guidepost Solutions makes an excellent case supporting the need for thorough detailed planning for such incidents.
Meanwhile we at Automatic Systems have carefully studied the role that a properly planned and executed entrance control design/implementation strategy can play in helping to deter the possibility of such an incident.

We know that thorough and correct preparation for an active shooter incident can help in two ways:

  1. Deterring a would-be shooter, and

  2. Responding effectively, to minimize impact in case the unthinkable occurs under our watch

In this article we focus primarily on the deterrence rather than response, although there is an important role that an entrance control plays with regards to emergency egress – getting our folks out of a building smoothly and efficiently  in case of emergency.
According to the FBI, statistics show that most active shooter incidents happen at locations where there is minimal impediment to attack – where very little exists in the way of hardware or visible means of entrance control. These soft targets have limited security measures to protect the public.
Evidence suggests that the largest proportion occur in workplaces where no visible entrance control system is in place. With the rapid increase in active shooter incidents, security design professionals are exploring ways to provide safety while complying with the business mission.
Optical turnstiles with swinging glass or retracting glass barriers, mechanical turnstiles, and portals, offer an enhanced level of security against active shooter incidents, especially when combined with security doors, surveillance video, security officers and access control systems.
Optical turnstiles with barriers for example are a visual deterrent that can help prevent unauthorized, undetected entries to your facility.
Here are three benefits offered by the use of turnstiles and pedestrian entrance control to help deter against active shooter incidents:

Turnstile Benefit #1 – Visible Deterrence

Security professionals and others have known for some time that the harder it is for a crime to occur, the less likely it is to happen. We all know the old trick of placing a “security system” sign on your lawn at home to deter intruders, right? Yes, that still works! Well the same goes for entrance control systems implemented at your building and campus entrances. Optical turnstiles with barriers for example are a visual deterrent that can help prevent unauthorized, undetected entries to your facility. Turnstile barriers like swinging glass or retractable glass can inhibit unauthorized entry.
Anyone considering a crime or attack on a facility using a modern professionally designed entrance control system will more deterred than when compared with a facility which is not so-equipped. Over 80 percent of active shootings occur at a workplace, according to the FBI’s first study of the subject.
The majority of the shooters in business environments were not employed at the shooting location. So, a strong visible deterrent can surely help discourage such an attack.
Piggyback detection, crossing (entering in opposite direction while an authorized user exits), and fraudulent misuse by an authorized user (collusion) are similarly detected and alerted for security staff.
Turnstile Benefit #2 – Tailgating/Piggyback Detection
Turnstiles – and pedestrian entrance control in general – are linked with your access control system and are designed to make sure that only authorized persons can enter a building or campus. This inherent benefit is the primary reason turnstiles and other pedestrian entrance control (PEC’s) are employed. A properly designed and implemented pedestrian entrance control system can sound an alarm, activate cameras and alert security staff in the event of a tailgating/piggybacking/crossing event.
Tailgating is defined as an unauthorized person attempting entry behind/with an authorized individual. Piggyback detection, crossing (entering in opposite direction while an authorized user exits), and fraudulent misuse by an authorized user (collusion) are similarly detected and alerted for security staff. IP Connected (network ready) PEC systems provide even further communication through the client’s security network if so integrated. All of these features make it significantly more difficult for an active shooter to gain entry into the secure areas of your facility.
(SmartLane Security Entrance Lanes are ideal for applications requiring secure, bidirectional passage control; where safety and throughput are key. Courtesy of Automatic Systems and YouTube)

Turnstile Benefit #3 – The Intangibles – Evidence of Sophisticated Security Measures

The use of strong effective entrance control security at outside lobbies and other entrances goes even a step further than the most visible benefits discussed above. We believe that the less tangible benefit is equally as important: the overall secure culture of a building/campus that is communicated/suggested by these turnstiles and portals. A perpetrator will witness the obvious measures that have been implemented at the entrances and can surmise that equally sophisticated and sturdy measures have been employed throughout the facility to protect the occupants.
The Guidepost Solutions paper referenced above, states that “A common theme among active shooters is often the meticulous effort they go through to plan their actions in the hope of achieving the greatest extent of destruction and mayhem.” Therefore we know that the perpetrator will certainly visit and analyze his targets very carefully. Sites that have the appearance of a strong security plan & mindset will be less vulnerable to attack.

Conclusion and Thinking Ahead

Once considering the three main ways that turnstiles will help to reduce the threat of an active shooter incident we feel confident that you will want to include consideration of such technology in your security design strategy. Former NYPD Chief Raymond Kelly recommended in his detailed 2012 Active Shooter Risk Mitigation Reportimplementation  of “credential-based access control systems that provide accurate attendance reporting, limit unauthorized entry, and do not impede emergency egress.”
This is still very timely advice. We know that Optical Turnstiles when correctly designed and engineered will do just that. Manufacturers such as Automatic Systems can aid with product selection, custom design, and procurement of turnstiles and related PEC equipment.
IP Ready products provide future-proof solutions and independent certifications such as UL325 & 2593 assure properly designed/engineered systems for safety and security, as you consider the best entrance control component of your active shooter risk mitigation strategy.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Aroma: The New Building Amenity

By 
Scented candles. Fragrance sticks. Incense. Potpourri. Many of us spend a lot of time (and money) trying to make our homes smell pretty. Hotels have been dousing their lobbies with fragrances for years, hoping we’ll keep booking rooms at the Westin because it smells like White Tea.
Now, rental buildings and condominiums in New York City have caught onto the idea, infusing lobbies, hallways and fitness centers with fragrances. Sometimes they are blown in through the ductwork, other times stand-alone machines do the job. Either way, the building smells a whole lot fresher than a city sidewalk.


Take 21 West End, a rental on the Upper West Side. Ever since it opened in September, tenants have been attributing its summery aroma to the floral arrangements. Building staff members are quick to set the record straight: The lobby smells like a beach because of Ocean Mist, a fragrance pumped in through the ductwork. “You really pick your head up and take notice,” said Ken Ludwig, 21 West End’s general manager.
Come November, Ocean Mist will be replaced with Season’s Greetings, which reminded me of hot apple cider and cinnamon when I sampled it. (After I tested both fragrances, my office smelled like Christmas in July.) The building will eventually rotate four fragrances, including White Blossom Tea and Cranberry Apple — the result of a painstaking selection process. “You have no idea how hard it is to smell 1,500 fragrances,” Mr. Ludwig said. “Your nose can become numb to anything.”
Numb noses or not, buildings are rushing to aromatize. ScentAir, the company behind the fragrances for 21 West End and Westin’s White Tea, says multifamily properties have been the largest growing segment of its business for the last three years.
The North Carolina-based company now provides fragrances for 67 residential buildings in the New York area. While some properties, like 21 West End, choose fragrances from an existing catalog, others want something original. Find the perfect scent and a resident — or, more important, a prospective one — could walk through the door, inhale and feel at home.
Dawn Goldworm is the scent director for 12.29, the New York fragrance design company she founded with her twin sister, Samantha. Dawn Goldworm says smell is often an overlooked element of the luxury experience, which is surprising considering our sense of smell is so interwoven with our moods and feelings. “If you walk into a building that has the most beautiful architecture and the most incredible design you’ve ever seen, and it smells like the pollution and the trash outside in New York City, you’re not having a luxury experience,” she said.
Last year, the Goldworm sisters, who have designed fragrances for Lady Gaga and Valentino, created Craft, a signature fragrance for the real estate developer DDG. Now, the lobbies of all DDG properties, including the condos XOCO 325 on West Broadway and 41 Bond, share a sultry aroma. What exactly does Craft smell like? Ask an olfactory expert, it’s like talking to a sommelier about a fine wine: “The scent is very much plain, with the warmth of wood milk,” Dawn Goldworm said. “But also a slightly creamy ambery, textural feeling with all these natural wood notes.”
All this sniffing makes me wonder: What if you don’t like what you inhale? Smell evokes emotions and memories, including those we’d rather forget. If the lobby mural is not to your liking, you can avert your gaze and move along. Not so with a distinct perfume. Like it or not, it will greet you like an eager puppy whenever you walk through the door.
“The whole idea of aromatherapy at one level is wrong,” said Rachel Herz, an adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and the author of “The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell” (Harper Perennial, 2007).
Our culture has collectively decided that lavender makes for a relaxing yoga class, but the flower is not a natural sedative. So, a person might not feel calm in a lavender-infused gym if his first encounter with the fragrance takes him back to elementary school, where the plant bloomed outside as he struggled through long division. Instead, he might cringe and leave.
“It’s not like everyone’s going to have the same experience,” Dr. Herz said. “It has to do with your own past.”
Olfactory experts point to signature fragrances as a solution: Create an original scent and no one will recoil at some troubling memory. But that aroma could become a fragrant monster if a prospective resident’s first encounter with it is a negative one. Perhaps the first time she visited the building was after a particularly trying day at the office. Even if she goes on to rent or buy the apartment, every time she walks in the lobby, she might associate it with her crummy mood, according to Dr. Herz.
Memories aside, some people just don’t like perfume. Fragrances can cause eyes to burn, throats to itch and noses to run, even if allergies are not involved. “It functions like an irritant — it’s overwhelming to the system,” said Beth E. Corn, an associate professor of allergy and immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, adding, “Why do you want to expose yourself to this?”
Is it worth it then? Will a floral-scented vestibule really improve your life?
“To me, it means a headache,” said Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, who described the trend as a gimmick used by developers eager to stand out in a saturated housing market. “Everyone is trying to one up each other to make the most noise.” Or, in this case, the loveliest aroma.
Over at 535W43, a Manhattan rental that opened this summer, the CetraRuddy-designed building uses not one, but two fragrances. Sandalwood infuses the lobby, leasing office and model apartments. The fitness center smells like lavender.
“When you step off the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, you immediately smell it,” said Matthew Villetto, a vice president for marketing at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the leasing agent. “It’s like you’ve arrived somewhere.” And, with some luck, it smells like somewhere you want to be.
A version of this article appears in print on October 23, 2016, on page RE3 of the New York edition with the headline: The Aroma Amenity. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe