COVID-19 has demanded a new standard of cleanliness. Building maintenance vendors, such as Irvine Company partner ABM Industries Inc., have stepped up to that challenge by pioneering next-generation methods of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. We spoke with Bryan Engler, Vice President of Operations at ABM, and Jeannie Torres, General Manager at 300 North LaSalle, to discuss what it takes to keep offices clean, and the impact of pristine workplaces on building customers.
Creating a New Standard
“At the onset of COVID-19, we set out to define a new standard for cleaning and disinfection, based on relevant agency guidance and our own internal industry knowledge,” explains Engler. “We began by forming an Expert Advisory Council, made up of experts in infectious disease and industrial hygiene, both within our organization and beyond. This council, along with leading COVID-19 research and authorities, like the CDC and other relevant agencies, guides our decision-making.”
With this strategy, ABM positioned themselves at the forefront of innovative cleaning solutions. Their solutions include a proprietary EnhancedClean™ program, which employs a consistent, three-step process to cleaning and disinfection, as well as investments to promote indoor air quality and other indicators of facility health. ABM employs an industry-leading electrostatic spraying technique, which utilizes a specialized solution. The electrostatic spraying solution, combined with air and atomized by an electrode, results in positively charged particles that aggressively adhere to any surface, creating a protective coat of sanitizer and disinfectant.
The Impact of Clean
Beyond redefining clean, there’s also been a desire to make cleaning a more transparent process. Once a behind-the-scenes occurrence, now building customers enjoy seeing cleaning crews working around the clock. Having eyes on the process provides a new level of comfort and reassurance. “Nowadays, people want to see us; our visibility is critical to how they feel walking into a space. And we’re proud to be in that position, to be at the forefront of keeping others safe,” reflects Engler. “Investing in facilities services is a key driver of productivity, one that has tangible effects on how safe and engaged employees feel at the office.”
Torres affirms the impact of customers seeing ABM hard at work. “Our customers regularly share praises, noting the diligence and care of what ABM is doing,” she says. “While COVID-19 was new to all of us, our partnership with ABM is longstanding. It’s been great to work with a partner who continues to listen and adjust based on the ever-changing needs of our team and customers. ABM may be employing new techniques, but they’ve always been focused on transparency and deeply cared for the health and safety of the building occupants as well as the staff,” says Torres.
We’re endlessly thankful to essential workers like ABM, who help create the pristine workplaces that enable Irvine Company customers to come back with confidence.