Take Our Survey

April 22nd, 2014 by admin

In the government sector, which sustainability factors do you feel will be most important this year?

a. Recycling
b. Composting
d. Energy efficiency
e. Water efficiency

The Refinishing Touch celebrates Earth Day

April 22nd, 2014 by TRT Blog

earthdayToday is Earth Day, one of our favorite holidays here at The Refinishing Touch. Each year we take time out of our busy schedules to consider all of the ways the natural environment helps sustain our work – and how we can help sustain the environment.

As a reader of this blog, you might already know that we take the environment seriously – especially when it comes to furniture asset management within government edifices, universities and hotels. We wrote a guest blog for The Professional Housing Management Association, which described three ways you can be an advocate for sustainability in the built environment by becoming a green building champion.

Whether you work for the government, a university or a hotel, furniture asset management reduces carbon emissions by as much as 99% and prevents landfill waste. Just last month we completed a project at The Michaelangelo hotel which produced zero wood waste – a very important milestone for us at The Refinishing Touch.

It’s important for us to recognize these contributions to the environment not just on Earth Day, but through the year as well.

To read our guest blog on the PHMA website, click here. Are you taking on an environmentally-friendly Earth Day initiative? We’d love to hear about it. Connect with us on Twitter @RefinishTouch.

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Extra, extra – read all about it: InTouch Issue 12 – A look back at Q1

April 18th, 2014 by TRT Blog


Each quarter we deliver our InTouch newsletter directly to the inboxes of customers, partners and friends. Next week – Thursday, April 24 – Issue 12 will be delivered to our loyal readers and highlighted all that’s been going on here at The Refinishing Touch throughout Q1.

InTouch is where we compile our greatest news announcements, best blog posts, upcoming event schedules and all you need to know about furniture asset management in one place.

In this issue, we will take a closer look at our recent zero wood waste project at The Michelangelo, delve into the white paper prepared for the General Services Administration (GSA) in response to their request for information on Building Maintenance and Operations (BMO) and answer the three questions hoteliers must ask before updating furniture.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our next edition directly to your inbox next week and take a look through old editions

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Take Our Survey

April 15th, 2014 by admin

In the education sector, which sustainability factors do you feel will be most important this year?

a. Recycling
b. Composting
d. Energy efficiency
e. Water efficiency

Join, connect, learn and Interact at GSA Interact

April 15th, 2014 by TRT Blog

In an effort to build better communities and encourage collaboration, the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) created Interact GSA, an open online collaborative community that encourages networking and engagement across GSA topics. As a furniture asset management provider to the government industry, we are honored to be part of such an initiative. Having a centralized platform that allows businesses to connect with one another in order to discuss issues surrounding contract work, get help and advice and join regular conference calls in order to enable collaboration is a useful resource.  It’s important to be able to have a place to discuss issues and connect with like-minded individuals.  The GSA community allows us to do exactly that.

gsa-logoThe forum has close to 11,000 members, offering vendors, agencies, and partners the ability to increase engagement between one another and the chance to connect in a number of different ways across social media.  GSA Interact also offers a host of educational materials, webinars, videos, and podcasts and participate in a variety of discussion across a number of communities.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be using the platform to connect as well as share our thoughts and expertise on refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing of existing pieces in order to reduce budgets, cut environmental impact and reduce facility downtime for government facilities.

For more information about The Refinishing Touch, or the services we offer, please visit: www.therefinishingtouch.com. Alternatively, you can connect with us via GSA Interact or on Twitter and Facebook.

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Time-lapse video: Furniture asset management in motion – it’s more than refinishing

April 11th, 2014 by TRT Blog

We frequently answer questions about furniture asset management. People want to know what it is and, more importantly, what it can do.

The process of furniture asset management, as delivered by The Refinishing Touch, involves refinishing, reupholstery and/or remanufacturing of existing pieces in order to forgo the need to buy new – drastically reducing budgets, environmental impact and facility downtime.

While providing these services to the higher education, hospitality and government sectors across the United States and Canada, we take great care to ensure that our customers – and current and future guests, students and government officials – are satisfied.

As for what it can do; take a moment to watch the time-lapse video below, highlighting The Refinishing Touch crew in the process of refinishing, remanufacturing and re-upholstering a hotel guest room from beginning to end. The transformation speaks for itself. 

If you’re interested in furniture asset management for your property, please request a free quote today and get in touch at sales@therefinishingtouch.com.


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Take Our Survey

April 9th, 2014 by admin

In the hotel sector, which sustainability factors do you feel will be most important this year?

a. Recycling
b. Composting
d. Energy efficiency
e. Water efficiency

Blog poll result: Sustainability – are hoteliers and campus facility managers doing enough?

April 8th, 2014 by TRT Blog

As we move deeper into April, we have Earth Day on our minds (be sure to mark your calendars for April 22nd). While sustainability is a common theme for our weekly blog polls, we wanted to take the time to look back on some other important questions posed in recent months.

It’s undeniable that facilities managers across each of our main sectors – hospitality, government and higher education – are working hard to implement green programs, processes and products. However, it is also undeniable that there is ample room left for improvement.

So, we asked our loyal readers two questions. The first was: Do you feel that hotels need to increase the number of sustainable establishments available to guests? 

The Refinishing Touch blog poll: Sustainability /green questionsThe results were mixed. Half of you felt as though hoteliers’ current green initiatives are making adequate impact, while the other half of those polled weren’t so confident.

In an industry with an expansive, worldwide presence and massive energy output, sustainability in every sense of the word is imperative. And with new green ratings on sites such as TripAdvisor, guests are more attuned to green accolades now than ever before.

We also had the same question for the higher education sector: Do you feel that colleges need to increase the number of sustainable housing options available to students? 

While one-third of respondents felt that the industry is currently doing its fair share of environmental perseveration, the remaining two-thirds stated that university housing and facility staff needs to be more proactive in implementing eco-friendly best practices.

In the higher education sphere, awareness and action have the potential to do more good than any other. College campuses are full of young adults ready and willing to learn and create life-long habits. By creating a living and learning environment in which sustainability is integral, these campuses are ensuring a greener future.

Do you have a question you’d like to see on our weekly blog polls? Tweet it at us at @RefinishTouch and check out our website.

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The Refinishing Touch’s sustainable spotlight: National Institute of Building Sciences

April 3rd, 2014 by TRT Blog

Guest author: Ryan Colker, director of the consultative council and presidential advisor At The Refinishing Touch we often focus on sustainability in the government sector. In this interview, the director of the consultative council at the National Institute of Building Sciences discusses how he works to bridge the private and public sectors around sustainability.

The Refinishing Touch (TRT): Tell us more about your role at the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

Ryan Colker_NIBS_HeadshotRyan Colker (RC): My main role is to direct the consultative council, which is one of the requirements within our enabling legislation that asked us to bring the building industry together by identifying key issues, coming up with recommendations and then transmitting those to the president and Congress.

We’re looking at what the high-level issues impacting the industry are – everything from workforce development, to energy and water conservation, to defining high performance buildings. Basically, anything at a high level that the industry as a whole needs to engage with and look at.

I also help look at how the public and private sectors can come together to improve buildings. We look at the broad spectrum of activities within the built environment – everything from disaster and hazard mitigation to building information modeling to facility maintenance and operations.

TRT: Tell us a bit about NIBS. What is its mission, values and key activities?

RC: The institute was established in 1974 through an act of Congress. There was a need for the delivery of safe buildings across the country particularly in the housing sector, but in the commercial sector as well. Our main mission is to engage the public and private sector in providing buildings that meet the public need. We do that by providing technical guidance and resources to the public and private sector as well as the dissemination of best practices through resources like the Whole Building Design Guide. We also do a lot of work with federal agencies through buildings-related programs – assisting them with best practices and through the development of tools that can help in the implementation of those processes.

TRT: Tell us about one of the most recent projects the group has worked on. What were the results?

RC: One of the most recent was General Service Administration’s moving of P100 standards for design to a performance-based outcome. Rather than having prescriptive requirements of what building systems you need to use at which particular levels, we’re looking at what the desired outcomes are and how you specify that requirement to a design team together with the standards that the results would be measured against.

TRT: What do you think are the real drivers behind green and sustainable initiatives in government today?

RC: Certainly looking at regulatory requirements – whether established by an act of Congress or an executive order – they’re a key driver. But there is also a recognition that governments tend to own buildings for a very long time. There’s been an attempt to shift focus to total cost of ownership and identifying how to move away from an initial first-cost focus and understand what the operational aspects of that building are and what it will cost long term. Green and sustainable initiatives certainly help to push in that direction.

Overall there is recognition of how sustainability and green practices fit into the mission of government organizations. We’re seeing departments like the Army moving towards net-zero bases for energy, water and waste. They recognize that being the Army, one of the aspects of being prepared and being able to protect the nation is to understand where various inputs are and reducing your reliance on outside entities to provide those types of services.

To read more about the National Institute of Building Sciences, visit the organization’s website at www.nibs.org. To read a full list of The Refinishing Touch’s completed projects in the government sector, visit our website here.

Take Our Survey

April 3rd, 2014 by admin

How often do you feel colleges and universities should renovate public spaces and dormitories?

a. More than twice per year
b. Once per year
c. Once every other year
d. Once every five years or less

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