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

April 18th, 2014 by TRT Blog

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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
c. LEED
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
c. LEED
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

Earth Hour 2014: Hospitality leader sets an example

April 1st, 2014 by TRT Blog

This past Saturday the world celebrated the 7th annual Earth Hour – a small period of time in which businesses, individuals and organizations turn off their lights to shed figurative light on environmental sustainability. This is no small initiative. More than 5 million people in 150 different countries have made Earth Hour the biggest mass participation event in the world.

Earth_Nov 9Among the millions, Wyndham Worldwide pledged its participation at its corporate headquarters in Parsippany, NJ, and various other brand-affiliated locations across the globe. Between the hours 8:30 and 9:30pm, Wyndham switched off more than its lights. Employees were urged to shut down all electronics, and candlelit dinners were offered to guests willing to participate.

Wyndham Worldwide is known as the world’s largest hotel company and because of this its many green accolades are especially influential and inspiring. The company’s ‘Wyndham Green’ program has been improving the quality of guest stays, work lives of employees and the environment since 2006.

It’s amazing what awareness can do. Earth Hour has become a globally recognized event which not only serves to save valuable resources through energy preservation; it has sparked environmental consciousness in citizens everywhere and inspired countless new initiatives.

Earth Hour, powered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), has since created Earth Hour Blue – a website serving as a crowdfunding hub for green innovation and action. If you missed the chance to turn off your lights with Earth Hour participants, head on over to the website and help a project get funded. Every dollar counts.

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Operational Update: The Refinishing Touch completes zero wood waste project at the Michelangelo Hotel

March 28th, 2014 by TRT Blog

The entire team at The Refinishing Touch is thrilled to announce the completion of a large-scale refinishing project at The Michelangelo hotel in New York today that successfully produced zero wood waste – our most significant environmental savings project to date.

The Michelangelo guest room: Before

The Michelangelo guest room: Before

Located within the Taft Hotel building – the historic skyscraper encompassing 7th avenue, just north of Times Square – The Michelangelo provides guests with luxury amenities, design and event space for both business and pleasure. 

The establishment upholds a strong commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, as well as eco-friendly products, practices and initiatives, and because of this The Michelangelo turned to The Refinishing Touch for help when it came time to revamp guest rooms.

In only five weeks, The Refinishing Touch’s on-site services refinished and conserved 184 furniture assets including armoires, built-in units, desks, island wall units, and then manufactured 138 refrigerator cabinets using the wood remnants of the armoire re-modifications. This resulted in zero wood waste being sent to landfills.

The Michelangelo guest room: After

The Michelangelo guest room: After

Through these sustainable and on-site processes, The Michelangelo was able to extend the life of its pieces, improve design aesthetics, eradicate a significant amount of downtime, greatly reduce carbon emissions and entirely eliminate waste.

Perhaps surprisingly, the process of refinishing and re-purposing existing assets – rather than replacing – also reaps large financial benefits. By choosing sustainable practices, the project was completed with an 83.2% savings in cost, allowing this budget to be reallocated to other causes.

We are always thrilled to participate in the greening of the hospitality industry, but are especially proud of this zero wood waste accomplishment and we hope to see more of these projects in the months to come.

For more information about this project or how The Refinishing Touch can help your hotel, university or government building achieve a zero-waste renovation, please get in touch at sales@therefinishingtouch.com.

 

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