Wolgast Blog

How to Prepare Your Commercial Building for a Solar Program

Posted by Cory Sursely on Tue, May 04, 2021 @ 01:21 PM

solar-panel-1Michigan’s solar energy industry is experiencing some confusion right now. For example, under the new federal administration, the outlook for clean energy is a spotlight industry for growth and sustainability, but there are no current solar incentives for commercial buildings or residential structures from the State of Michigan. Additionally, on their Federal Income Tax, businesses can currently claim 26% of the cost of a solar photovoltaic (PV) system if installed during 2020 – 2022. This incentive will reduce to 22% in 2023, and 10% in 2024 and thereafter1. On a positive note, the cost of solar products is down 45%2 and expected to continue going down, and so is the price for lithium batteries for personal storage to be used on cloudy days or during a power outage.

While fossil fuels are considerably less costly, they are expected to keep increasing in cost and are a variable expense for users. Specifically, in Michigan, Consumers Energy has won a Public Service Commission hearing3 to increase their fees as they plan to make infrastructure improvements and clear trees to help minimize power outages. Therefore, solar energy would help manage energy costs and keep them consistent for planning, with a complete payoff as a long term investment. Furthermore, the outlook is that the number of solar energy units nationally are going to increase by 3 times as many over the next decade4.

I’m not really trying to steer you in either direction, however if solar energy is something you’ve been interested in adding to your business, I’ve provided some information below that I researched about what is needed from a building standpoint to make it happen.

It's good to know that the up-front cost of engineering, purchasing, and installing solar panels for commercial building owners can be six figures, but certain solar materials can be depreciated over five years, and the with the cost of solar systems going down each year, it is now expected to be paid off in approximately 8 -12 years.6

According to Duro-Last Roofing’s website7, our reputable, local colleague and roofing specialists, “Rooftops are an excellent place to install solar systems because they are typically unused and unobstructed spaces.” Many commercial buildings have a lot of real estate on their rooftops that is suitable for enough solar panels to significantly reduce energy costs. Alternatively, if a business has adequate property surrounding their building, they have the option of selecting their grounds for the panels.

Even though we are a commercial building expert, we have not had experience with installing solar photovoltaics and advise that you work with a reputable solar engineer when designing your system. However, we want to share with you general requirements of your rooftop and structure to have panels installed by a professional installer. Firstly, most solar systems have a 25-30 year warranty, so it’s critical that your roof is in a condition to also last the same duration. Rooftop repairs will be difficult to make under the panels. The weight per panel, as stated by Judith Shadzi in her article, Commercial Solar Panel Types, Tips, and Pros/Cons of Investing in Solar, is “generally 3 lbs per square foot…a ballasted system will add 4 to 6 lbs <per unit>. If the building was built after 1970, it should support these loads. However, if concerns arise, a structural engineer will review the property.”5 Shadzi’s article, provides a plethora of information discussing system types, cautions, financing options, and more.

Shadzi’s article also instructs that a project starts with a site audit by a solar company to ultimately “recommend a location, orientation, slope of the system, size and energy production”. Then solar engineers design a system plan, which must undergo a state or municipality’s permitting process. Once permits are secured, the solar company can install the panels, which on a rooftop is done by drilling holes “into the rafters in alignment with the solar panel mounts. Thin pieces of metal are then placed over the mounts, preventing water leakage. The panels are attached to the rails and connected together…and to the inverter.” A final inspection is required, then a request is made to connect to your utilities and a monitoring plan is implemented to monitor performance and savings.

The Shadzi article is listed below as a reference and was a considerable resource to developing this article.

1Guide to the Federal Investment Tax Credit for Commercial Solar Photovoltaics, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

2 Michigan Solar, SEIA

3 Crain’s Detroit Business, Michigan Regulators OK $100 Million Rate Hike for Consumers Energy, https://www.crainsdetroit.com/energy/michigan-regulators-ok-100-million-rate-hike-consumers-energy  12/17/20

4 Solar Industry Data, Solar Industry Growing at Record Pace, SEIA

5 Let’s Go Solar, Commercial Solar Panel Types, Tips, and Pros/Cons of Investing in Solar, Judith Shadzi, https://www.letsgosolar.com/solar-panels/commercial-solar-panels/

6 Duro-Last Roofing, Solar Ready Roofing Systems, https://duro-last.com/solar_ready

7 Michigan Solar Solutions, Frequently Asked Questions about Going Solar in Michigan, https://www.michigansolarsolutions.com/education/faqs

Tags: Energy Savings

Will a Non-Qualified Bond Work Better for My School District?

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Apr 26, 2021 @ 07:55 AM

BoardMemberTableMichigan School Board of Education (BOE) members have lots of decisions to make in regard to Bond Programs for school improvements. One of them being how to sell the Bonds.

Whether they choose Qualified, Non-Qualified, or a Sinking Fund, each have specific advantages depending on what the School District is trying to accomplish. Those School Districts that have a good credit rating (i.e. solid financial record, good enrollment numbers or out-of-formula, healthy taxable property values) benefit from having more freedom to make a choice of their funding source including the Non-Qualified Bonding option. This option comes with its own benefits, including, the opportunity to skip the State Treasury process and the additional paperwork and required application that is involved.

With good credit, the District doesn’t have to rely on the State to co-sign for the bond and provides some more flexibility in the expenditure of funds. Also, they aren’t bound to the time it takes to provide the paperwork and be ready far in advance for the Treasury dates before their chosen election date. The qualified application process takes a minimum of six to twelve months vs. the non-qualified timeline, which can be processed in the three to four months if the scope of work is readily defined. Schools will still need time to carry-out their campaign activities to build support to pass the bond, but it frees up some time to do this at their own pace and choose which of the three election periods they’d prefer to choose, either May, August or November. When considering the preliminary design and estimating activities to pull a program together, this can be a large benefit. Additionally, through a Non-Qualified Bond Program, School Districts have the opportunity to shop for their own lender (either competitive or negotiated sale) and get a better interest rate, so they can do more with the monies their bond program generates.

How does a School District develop a Non-Qualified Bond Program? The Superintendent and building committee will still work with their Architect, Construction Manager, Financial Advisor, and Legal Counsel to establish their program, prioritize projects, determine a cost for improvements and create the bond language. The Board of Education will be able to shop for the best interest rate and financing for the Bond. The BOE will also set the duration of the bond and the tax rate to repay the loan.

Whether you choose Qualified, Non-Qualified, or Sinking Fund financing, Wolgast will assist you with free pre-bond services and bond campaign development to help bring the project to fruition. We will help you analyze the choices to develop the best strategic plan to meet your facility needs to benefit your students. Developing a solid, long-term master plan yields solid results. If you're a Michigan School District that has questions about your financing options, please call us at 800-WOLGAST.

 

Tags: Schools, Financing Construction

How Technology Updates Change Schools

Posted by Cory Sursely on Fri, Mar 26, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

SecureEntry.jpgSchool Districts are facing pressure to incorporate technology into their curriculum to compete with other institutions who have already adopted 21st Century and New Tech programs. However, miles of wiring, hardware, software, white boards, wireless projectors and hand held devices aren’t the only technological concerns of modern schools.

Building efficiency, automation and security also play a role in technological updates. With the additional cost of keeping up with continual software updates and hardware maintenance, saving money through energy efficiency and Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (M/E/P) monitoring can help off-set these expenses. Through building automation, all of your systems can communicate with each other and through computer monitoring you can scrutinize that your HVAC systems run more efficiently and manage energy usage to reduce costs. Also, installing LED lighting will save money and improve the student’s learning environment. Ensuring that all of these systems work together and don't have to be retroactively forced to communicate takes planning and design prior to installation.  Far too many times this is an afterthought that costs more money, but if done correctly it can save money on the project.  Furthermore, when your systems work together through building automation, they become more efficient, building occupants’ comfort can be better controlled and maintenance services moderated. Additionally, your maintenance staff will be notified immediately of system issues, so that incidences can be managed before they become a costly problem.

Probably a top priority for all schools has become their building security to make their campus safe and secure for teachers and students. We recently worked with a school to improve their security measures. Like most, they wanted, “full, unfettered control of the door” without making it feel like a prison for students. School Districts more commonly face issues with custody cases or split families and even angry boyfriends who enter the building to get in contact or even remove a student. These are the more common situations that Districts have faced in the past and are trying to control.

Most of the security updates that we incorporate include a secure entry area through double doors or office passageway, but it also needs timed door locks, cameras, and intercom systems. All these updates require hard wiring and the ability to communicate with the centralized monitoring system (same as your HVAC system).

Schools can incorporate modern technology changes that will save them money, improve the indoor environment, and provide reliable control of who is in their building by teaming with an Architect and Construction Manager (CM) who are experienced with pre-planning your systems so they work together and who have a better than average school bond passage success rate, like CM, Wolgast Corporation. Call us to discuss your building goals at 800-WOLGAST.

 

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Tags: Professional General Contractor, Schools, Construction Management

What Are Design/Build Services?

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Feb 24, 2021 @ 07:58 AM

DesignBuildBlogDesign/Build Construction is a project delivery method in which a building owner forges a single contract with an architectural/engineering design services and construction services. Known as the Design/Builder, the entity becomes the single-source that is responsible for designing, hiring subcontractors, coordinating the schedule and building the structure on the client’s behalf. Wolgast offers a phased approach to identifying a client’s building needs, budget, building specifications, final design, construction and warranty.

Phases Described

In Phase I – Preliminary Design, our architect meets with you to conduct a Needs Analysis and then crafts a preliminary building design to suit your needs, layout, and specifications. At this time, he or she also does regulatory checks to make sure you can build what you want on your site. Following this, your estimator will coordinate with trade contractors to set a budgetary number that you can take to your financial institution for approval. The benefit of getting this early pricing is knowing if it fits within your budget and if so, you can start the financing process sooner than traditional construction.

Moving to Phase II – Detailed Design, the architect takes the preliminary information from Phase I to create final construction-ready design documents including engineering plans for your review. The process includes several review opportunities between the client and Architect. Also, as the plans develop, the Estimator is acquiring bid coverage with trade contractors. He or she is reaching out to our vast resources of trade professionals to obtain competitive bids. This way, we will have all the lowest, qualified prices in our budget, a huge benefit of this delivery process. As the client signs off on the design (or portions of the design) and the budget, which should be expected due to Phase I pricing, the project will transfer from Design to Construction. During this transfer, a construction schedule, permits, material ordering, and sub contracts are secured and site work or demo that is approved can start. This is why Design/Build is referred to the Fast-Track to Construction another benefit to this delivery method (see our White Paper on Fast-Track to Construction).

During Phase III – Construction, your Project Manager and Project Supervisor will mobilize equipment and monitor onsite activity. The Project Supervisor will be onsite 100% of the time. He checks to make sure that appropriate materials are used and applied with accuracy and quality, safety precautions are being followed, and that the project is staying on schedule. The Project Manager monitors the progress and budget and is the liaison between client, architect, and the site.

In Phase IV – Warranty, once construction is complete, your Design/Build Construction Department will be available for another year to help with any warranty issues that could arise as you try out your new building.

In Conclusion, when it comes to Design/Build, our actions are curated to be the best performing delivery system for both cost and schedule. Over the past 70 years, Wolgast has been a highly progressive and comprehensive construction provider all throughout Michigan. Adding Wolgast as your Design/Builder and Construction Department will allow you to focus on your business – what you do best, while we focus on building - what we do best!

 

White Paper - Fast Track Construction

 

Construction of New Tech High Schools

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Feb 17, 2021 @ 01:00 PM

Meridian-Schools_newtech.jpgThe New Tech Network is designed to target disinterested students, while still reaching those who are already college bound. And it is working because their report, "2020 Impact Report", shows that New Tech High School students are 10% more likely to go onto college compared to the national average.  And added 14 new schools to their network in 2020.

The New Tech Curriculum is fairly new as it only started in the mid 90’s, but it already has proven results.  On their website, www.newtechnetwork.org, they state, “NTN schools consistently outperform national comparison groups on measures of higher order thinking skills, high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates”.  Each student is provided with a computer and the necessary tools to complete “project-based learning” as a group.  In this type of environment, students learn open collaboration and problem solving skills.  The program goal is “to enable students to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life, college and the careers of tomorrow”.  For 2020, they have had to adapt quickly and create meaningful distance-learning for students.

At the time of publishing this blog, fourteen schools in Michigan have incorporated the New Tech curriculum.  Wolgast has gained experience with constructing New Tech High Schools over the past few years.  We have provided Construction Management services for remodeling Meridian New Tech High School in Sanford, Michigan.  They became one of the earliest schools in Michigan to adopt the New Tech High School curriculum for their freshman class in 2010. Then in 2016, they hired Wolgast again to complete the necessary renovations to the existing high school to allow for the extensive wiring, networking and group spaces required for the technically focused program. The curriculum stayed with those that started it as freshmen in 2010 and then extended to all following classes.  Since 2010, we have also completed more renovations to make room for the addition of students and their space and technological needs, including updates to science labs and media centers.  Meridian is focused on getting their students "Career Ready. College Bound" according to their website. They have also converted their Junior High and Elementary schools into the New Tech Network.

The difference with remodeling or constructing a New Tech school stems from each space needing to be adaptable for multiple group work stations for a variety of situations.  A higher level of coordination is the key for the Construction Manager to oversee a smooth project and account for the necessary flexibility plus technical and data accommodations.

If you’re considering adopting this curriculum for your school, you should contact the New Tech Network; however, if you need a Construction Manager to complete the renovation to your school, call Wolgast Corporation who can apply their best practices to your project.

 

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Tags: Schools, Construction Management, the Wolgast Way

How Can Restaurant Brands Drive Business Thru Their Parking Lots?

Posted by Cory Sursely on Tue, Feb 16, 2021 @ 11:58 AM

side-by-side-drive-thru2Covid-19 has impacted many industries, but the restaurant industry could arguably have had the biggest impact to their operations. Especially in Michigan, with dine-in shut down longer than any other state. Most of those restaurants near our office with drive-thrus were backed up to the road before, during and following peak times. Should national restaurant brands of quick serve (QSR), fast casual, and casual dining restaurants be planning for a future with less dining-in and more business taking place in their parking lots due to societal shifts and the convenience of third-party delivery? Some brands are ramping up with multiple drive-thru windows to filter through customers even more quickly. If they don’t have space for a drive-thru or a drive-up/pick-up window, they have set up their parking lot for pick-up service or a walk up area inside the door.

According to NRN Magazine in their article, “COVID Is Forcing Restaurants to Rethink, Modernize Drive-Thru Lanes” from 10/5/20, “For decades, drive-thru lanes have been the main driver of sales at fast-food chains, generating anywhere from 60% - 70% of sales.” They were speaking specifically about QSR, but there could be value in investing in renovated or added pick-up service for many fast causal or casual dining service types.

Double or triple-drive thrus are good for filtering a lot of customers through for those restaurants that have the room and technology to organize distribution this way. Some QSRs are even considering if they need as big of dining room going forward, thinking it may be more effective to take that space to add an additional drive-thru. However, if operations aren’t set up for taking orders through a speaker, as most Casual Dining restaurants aren’t, a drive-up window for picking up orders (no on-site ordering) may be a lucrative addition and safer for servers so they aren’t trying to match a car with an order while diners without a parking spot circle the drive during busy peak times. Otherwise, labeling parking spots for pick-up distribution will set up a restaurant even when dining rooms can open back up. We don’t know how the pandemic will effect dining once it’s considered over or how much third-party delivery will continue to grow.

What is involved with creating your own drive-up or drive-thru window? We would have to consider the site, the space available, and municipal regulations to create a design and then construct. Chiptole’s CFO stated in “Chains Find Drive-Thrus Worthy Investment” article on restaurantbusinessonline.com that it costs $70,000 to invest in their drive-thrus, but they generate 10-15% higher volume at each location. For them the expense is worth the investment.

Working with a general contractor, like Wolgast, that is experienced with prep and installation of single or double-drive thrus, will help you to quickly get set-up with very little, to no, down time. Wolgast is the Premiere Restaurant Contractor in Michigan having worked with numerous national brand corporations and franchisees. There is a learning curve for a contractor who hasn’t worked with drive-thrus before. Our Director of Restaurants, Eric Schwartzly, said, “operationally, it takes some time to understand the flow through the traffic lane and picking up the food”, but we can help you figure it out. Additionally, we can help with site selection for future locations or designing added drive-thru operations to meet municipal regulations and corporate’s guidelines.

Your Turn: Restaurant Operators, between delivery service popularity and a shift toward convenience for families, could parking lots and pick up windows become as important as dining rooms? What kind of questions do you have regarding enhancing your restaurant’s parking lot delivery?

Tags: Restaurant Construction

Hail Damage Risk for School Districts and Restoration Action

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Feb 15, 2021 @ 08:00 AM

HailRoofDamageWhat do a pea, a quarter, a mothball, and a golf ball have in common? You probably guessed it, they are all used to describe sizes of hail. The bigger the diameter of hail, the bigger the damage it causes, especially for School Districts. You may wonder why a school would be worse off than most other structures, but when you consider that most Districts have a campus with multiple buildings in the same area, the cost to restore after a hail storm can add up quickly.

Additionally, hail can be an isolated incident that occurs primarily during the months of May through September, mostly when school isn’t in session. Damage to a roof has to be assessed quickly and protection applied to prevent rain waters leaking into a building and damaging more of the structure than just the roof. Plus, if it isn’t known that hail fell upon a school roof with no one there in the summer, the winter freeze and spring rains can make the damage significantly worse and more difficult from an insurance stand point.

When our school client called us in April of 2020, during the complete pandemic shutdown of schools in Michigan, to notify us that their roof had been impacted by hail, we met with them that same day to see what kind of damage they had. The golf ball sized hail had torn holes in 70% of the High School’s roof membrane. They were fortunate that only one of their school structures had been damaged.

After the adjuster of their insurance company, SETSEG, had completed their assessment of the damage, we got to work. We provided restoration services and managed the replacement of the damaged area. We assisted the School District and SETSEG to coordinate the installation of a liquid coating to seal the holes as temporary protection until the roof membrane could be replaced. The roof replacement was complete prior to the start of the school year and also involved drywall repair, acoustical ceiling replacement, installing lights and speakers, carpet cleaning and deodorizing, general cleaning and painting the ceiling.

Wolgast is a professional Construction Manager for schools throughout Michigan. We have decades of experience and know how to make school structures functional for students and teachers whether we are building new, remodeling, expanding, or restoring after a storm. In the instance of restoration, we will work with your insurance company to return your building to a pre-loss condition efficiently and correctly. Please contact us if you have building needs for your District – 800-WOLGAST.

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Tags: Schools, Construction Management, Restoration

Is There a Future in Commercial Investment Properties for You?

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Jan 06, 2021 @ 09:56 AM

Warehouse-3Have you considered commercial investment properties to add to your portfolio?  On a surface level, it seems like a long-term, but easy investment that will generate ongoing income and also potentially appreciate in value the longer you own it.  For those who have capital to invest, is it the right type of investment for you?

Something new to consider, the pandemic has quickly changed the use of buildings significantly.  Office buildings and retail shops may no longer be lucrative structures to take on.  Some experts are anticipating that more workers will continue to work from home and as online shopping gains popularity, it reduces the need for brick and mortar stores.  According to fool.com1 article “Commercial Real Estate Predictions for 2021”, warehouses, life sciences and data centers are thriving going into 2021 and looking for more space, despite the pandemic.  So, there are opportunities available.  It’s best to get your financial advisor, commercial realtor, and design/builder to work with you and identify a good opportunity.

What You Need to Know?

Prior to selecting a property and submitting a purchase agreement, you’ll want to evaluate and compare your options to make an educated decision on the best potential. Each market is different and the price of a building in the city limits will be different than one of similar size on the out skirts of town, so the most common way to compare them is the Cap Rate, also known as Capitalization Rate2. You can calculate the Cap Rate by dividing the Net Operating Income by the current market rate3. The Net Operating Incoming is based on the revenues that appear on the properties income or cash flow statement less the expenses of operating the building (i.e. maintenance, utilities).

How to Add Value to the Property

Finding a lower cost property that needs updates can help you buy low and sell high.  Depending on the building grade, most commercial properties don’t require the highest quality finishes, so if you focus your updating budget to make the building more efficient with energy saving materials, automated controls and more technology, you’ll save money on operating costs and make your building more competitive.  Additionally, when it comes to warehouses, life sciences and data centers, increasing the size, adding truck docks, or cold storage or heat to a building can expand your lessee potential, and add value for appreciation.  Your design/builder can help you identify what types of updates should be made for good ROI.

Financing Help

As an added incentive, you can use the SBA 504 loan as long as you occupy 51% of an existing building purchased or 60% of a new building from the ground up. According to their website, sba.gov4, it is a requirement of the SBA 504 loan that the owner occupy part of the building they are financing, but the loan allows for purchasing more building to lease out as investment property. The SBA 504 loan offers 10% down by the purchaser, an SBA lower/fixed interest rate loan for 40% to be repaid over 20 years, and the remaining 50% is financed through a traditional bank loan.

Your Turn: Is Commercial Investment Property something that you have considered?  What have you found helpful in making your decision? What kind of questions do you have?  We'd like to hear from you in our comments link below.  Otherwise, you could contact us at 800-WOLGAST.

1 https://www.fool.com/millionacres/real-estate-investing/articles/commercial-real-estate-predictions-for-2021/

2 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capitalizationrate.asp

3 https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/noi.asp

4 https://sba504.loans/sba-504-blog/sba-504-loans-for-real-estate-investment

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Tags: Design/Build, Financing Construction

Certificate of Need and Your Design/Build Contractor

Posted by Cory Sursely on Tue, Nov 24, 2020 @ 03:45 PM

Ambulatory Surgery CenterUpdated 11/24/20: The controversial Certificate of Need (CON) program in Michigan is in question through several new bills that passed the Michigan Senate in February 2020.  It has yet to be decided in the House.  The debate has been ongoing and seems to be getting more and more heated with those against it arguing for an open market approach to drive down cost and those for it are claiming that the medical industry needs to be regulated to keep a high standard of care at an affordable cost.

Furthermore, as we hear in the news more often, medical groups are having difficulty securing their CON in saturated Metro Areas of Michigan because a premise of the CON has been to drive medical care to regions where there is less medical access.  A positive note is, due to regionalism and urban sprawl, there are new populated pockets where medical services are less saturated and CONs are still available.

As a Design/Builder that has been through the CON process several times with our medical group clients, we wanted to offer you some insider tips to getting through the application.  First and foremost, it’s important to build your team of CON/Design/Construction experts before you even look for your property.  Enlist your CON consultant and contractor to help you find an area that has CON capacity and also will accommodate your building/parking lot size.  Additionally, you’re architect plays a big role during the application period as you’ll need to submit schematic drawings, project narrative, site development plan and design fees, in the CON submittal package.  The contractor provides the estimated cost of the project, which is also required with the application.  And, obviously, having a CON consultant on the team provides an expert when navigating around the requirements and bringing all the necessary documentation together with accuracy, so that there are no setbacks from missing or incorrect information during the application process.  It could save you two weeks or more in your review time and provide insider know-all advantages.

When you work with Wolgast Corporation as your design/build expert, we already have an established team of architect, engineer, medical construction specialists and CON consultant that have been through the CON process together.  We’ve helped doctor groups find suitable locations with available CON credits and also with renovations, additions and new builds to help them grow their surgery centers.  Through our Design/Build construction service, we satisfy all necessary requirements to help you move through the application process as efficiently as possible.

Learn more about our Design/Build construction services below, or call Dr. Michael Shepard to discuss how we can help you expand, 800-WOLGAST. 

Design/Build  the Wolgast Way

Tags: Medical Office Construction, Design/Build, the Wolgast Way, Design, Good for Business, Risk Management

All Things Touchless Boosts Protections for Onsite Staff

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Nov 23, 2020 @ 10:09 AM

AutomatedThrough the pandemic, business leaders have learned that the importance of making work spaces safer within a commercial, industrial or institutional building and still be functional for workers, students, patients, patrons, clients, or whoever else may cross the threshold. Now, winter is predicted to elevate the Covid-19 spread as people are spending more time indoors sharing air. Even though many Michigan businesses are still closed from the shutdown or limited because they have made it possible for their work force to force work from home, some industries can’t have their staff working from home, schools have been going between open and closed as they navigate the infection levels, and healthcare offices are still restricting their service and who can come in the building. As these entities plan for the long haul of whatever amount of time the virus is going to be inflicting us, the keys of working at the “office” are separation, clean air, and making more things “touchless” in the business space – AKA All Things Touchless.

Making All Things Touchless in a work place is a means that could be useful past the pandemic. The less that people have to touch or be near each other, the less likely the spread of germs of any kind can happen. For many that are back to the office, there is most likely a check in process where they open the door, someone interviews about health and takes temperatures, then the arriving staff member makes their way to the elevator or doors to get to their work area. This creates face-to-face interaction and touching door knobs. Installing access control, such as card readers to use with smart phones at an entrance can prevent continual touching of door handles and can record who is entering the building. Also, automating bathroom features throughout the building will reduce the need to touch shared spaces.

Jackson Control, a building security solution company, in Indianapolis, IN conducted a virtual Town Hall Meeting series in April 2020 to discuss ways to make commercial and institutional space safer. They identified that keys to improve the health of a commercial building include UV light filtration, thermal imaging, and occupant tracking. The UV light retrofitted in the duct work sanitizes the air while it circulates taking out infectious virus before it spreads through the air ducts, which is ideal for schools and restaurants. Thermal Imaging and Occupant Tracking is also good for schools where anyone with a fever can be detected within the building and tracked where they have traveled to help narrow down tracing activities, or additionally help monitor the number of people in an area where they can’t spread out to socially distanced levels. Occupants who came into the same space where the thermal camera identified an elevated body temperature can be notified to monitor for symptoms, tested, or quarantined to stop an outbreak faster. This can all be done without much interaction or need for additional staff.

Protecting a work force, or adding these safety measures to bring a work force back to work would be more efficient and convince staff, customers, students, delivery people and vendors alike with All Things Touchless. If you need direction on how to install any of these into your building, please contact us for more information - 800-WOLGAST.

Tags: Professional General Contractor, Good for Business