Water conservation has become an essential practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems abundant.

  In addition to saving money on your utility bill, water conservation helps prevent water pollution in nearby lakes, rivers and local watersheds. Conserving water can also extend the life of your septic system by reducing soil saturation, and reducing any pollution due to leaks. Overloading municipal sewer systems can also cause untreated sewage to flow to lakes and rivers. The smaller the amount of water flowing through these systems, the lower the likelihood of pollution. In some communities, costly sewage system expansion has been avoided by communitywide household water conservation. By using water-saving features you can reduce your in-home water use by 35%. This means the average household, which uses 130,000 gallons per year, coulod save 44,00 gallons of water per year. On a daily basis, the average household, using 350 gallons per day, could save 125 gallons of water per day. The average individual, currently using 70 gallons per day, could save 25 gallons of water per day. Follow these water conservation tips to start making a difference. 1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons. 2. Don’t use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted. 3. Check your toilets for leaks Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install. 4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak. 5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators Inexpensive water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. “Low-flow” means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute. You can easily install a ShowerStart showerhead, or add a ShowerStart converter to existing showerheads, which automatically pauses a running shower once it gets warm. Also, all household faucets should be fit with aerators. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest! Source: Water Conservation Plan Guidelines https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/pubs/guide.html

Tests reveal new paint “kills 99% of harmful bacteria that triggers MRSA and E.coli”

A new pot of paint could prove the latest tool in the war on hospital superbugs, destroying potentially life-threatening infections within two hours of exposure.The product does not merely inhibit the growth of common bacteria, but has the power to kill the dangerous microbes, experts said. Marketed as Paint Shield, experiments found it kills more than 99 per cent of virulent strains that can trigger MRSA and E.coli. The paint can be applied to interior hard, non-porous ceilings, walls, doors and trim. Chris Connor, chairman and chief executive of the firm, said: ‘By killing infectious pathogens on painted surfaces, Paint Shield is a game-changing advancement in coatings technology.’ The product, which is the first Environmental Protection Agency-registered microbicidal paint, targets bacteria including Staph (Staphylococcus aureus), MRSA, E.coli, Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis and Enterobacter aerogenes within two hours of exposure. The exclusive patented technology in Paint Shield represents the culmination of extensive research and collaboration between Sherwin-Williams coatings scientists and expert microbiologists. Paint Shield will be available in 590 colours and Sherwin-Williams expect it to be available in stores across the US early next year. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/health/video-1225079/New-type-antibacterial-paint-kills-hospital-superbugs.html Source: By LIZZIE PARRY FOR DAILYMAIL.COM PUBLISHED: 11:15 EST, 29 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:12 EST, 29 October 2015 Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3295310/Could-PAINT-wipe-hospital-acquired-superbugs-Tests-reveal-new-product-kills-99-harmful-bacteria-triggers-MRSA-E-coli.html#ixzz4DVyIGmjj

Take a few simple steps to save energy and money.

During this summer season we can’t help it but to be concerned about our electricity bill. Wether at home or place of business, our wallet certainly feels the hit when these hot summer days come by. Nevertheless, there’s good reason to be energy efficient and their is no better time to start than now. For starters, you’re eligible for rebates and savings programs when you make qualified, energy-saving improvements to your home. Many of these upgrades also may be eligible for tax credits. What’s more, when you use less energy, you pay less too.To get started, complete the Do-It-Yourself Check-Up to see where in your home energy savings can be found. Here are some simple tips to being more energy efficient:
  1. Set your thermostat between 78 and 80 degrees during warm months. During colder months, set it between 68 to 70 degrees.
  2. Use a programmable thermostat to manage your daily heating and cooling needs.
  3. Try a free CPS Energy Savers Smart Thermostat or other programmable thermostat programs.
  4. Use a ceiling or portable fan to circulate air and make you feel cooler.
  5. Turn off the television, fan and lights when you leave a room.
  6. Replace less efficient incandescent light bulbs with LEDs and CFLs.
  7. Purchase energy-efficient appliances and products. Take advantage of our home efficiency rebates.
  8. Turn off or unplug electronic devices, such as computers, power tools, etc., when not in use.
  9. Reduce your hot water use – take short showers, use cold water to wash clothes, etc.
Source: Copyright © 2016, CPS Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.cpsenergy.com/en/my-home/ways-to-save/energy-efficiency.html

Latest insight into healthcare real estate investors’ strategies.

Investors in healthcare buildings view multi-tenant medical offices as their best bets for returns on investments whose financing, to an increasing degree, leans toward cash rather than debt. Those are some of the findings in a 15-page report that CBRE’s U.S. Healthcare Capital Markets Group has released, based on responses from 80 healthcare real estate investors answering 26 questions. The largest group of respondents (32%) was healthcare real estate developers, followed by healthcare REITs and private capital healthcare investors (27% each). Nearly one-third (32%) of all respondents say they target transactions that fall between $20 million and $50 million. Another 31% say that their preferred transaction range is $10 million to $20 million. Nearly all of the respondents—96%—are most interested in medical office buildings as the type of building that meets their acquisition criteria. The next preferred building type is ambulatory surgery centers (63%), wellness centers (41%), and assisted living facilities (39%). Single-tenant medical office buildings are pricing the most aggressively. The largest group of respondents (37%) indicate a cap rate range of 6% to 6.49%, and another 42% indicating a cap rate lower than 5.99%. In contrast, more than one quarter of respondents indicates a cap rate of 6% to 6.49% for ambulatory surgery centers, while 31% indicate a cap rate range of 6.5% to 6.99% for wellness centers, and 33% a 7% to 7.49% range for acute care hospitals. The product types with the least-aggressive pricing, according to the survey’s respondents, are long-term acute care hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and psychiatric hospitals. The vast majority of respondents—82%—say their medical office investments this year would make them “net buyers.” Majorities of respondents expect supply of and demand for healthcare sector buildings in general to remain pretty much the same this year as in 2015, with some intriguing collisions: for example 30% of respondents think demand for freestanding emergency departments would be higher even as 40% expect supply of that product type would be lower. Rents for medical office buildings were up between 2% and 3% for the respondents’ portfolios, and none is predicting much growth beyond that in the next 12 months, which is curious given that 59% of those surveyed say their portfolio’s occupancy rates were higher than the year before. Source: INDUSTRY RESEARCH | APRIL 07, 2016 | JOHN CAULFIELD, SENIOR EDITOR

Helping Dental Practices Grow

Are there really laws that govern practice growth? In 24 years of helping dental practices grow, we have realized that all consistently growing practices follow a number of proven laws. We will share four of these laws that we believe, if followed, will keep your practice on the top side of the growth curve. We make it our expectation that every practice we serve grows by a minimum of 7% annually. That may not seem like a significant number, but that growth rate enables our clients’ practices to double every 10 years. In other words, if 20 years ago you had a $300,000 practice, at this realistic rate it grew to a $600,000 practice 10 years later and is now a $1.2 million practice with one doctor and no associates.We find that to be a reasonable and attainable expectation for every dental practice. These laws may not double your revenue in 90 days, but you will be on course for long-term, consistent annual growth. Source: 4 proven laws for practice profitability | Ken Runkle Looking for a Design-Build Construction Expert? Give Liberty Group Construction a call today! (888) 308-6869

Specializing = Higher Cost?

The pricing of either a specialized GC or architect can be typically 20 to 50 percent or more than an experienced GC or architect that is a qualified generalist, but does not call themselves “specialized.” So, what is the solution you ask? Easy. If you have an experienced and knowledgeable dental office Owner Representative on your project, then you can seek an established local GC with a solid commercial construction reputation, who specializes in your industry. This will save you thousands of dollars and time in the long run. Dental facilities that have varying complexities – nitrous oxide, multizoned HVAC, multiple lighting needs, differing esthetics within varying square footages – can be deceiving and confusing.You can’t avoid references to cost per SF. You can, however, “qualify” assumptions made to avoid assigning unrealistic cost expectations to your project. A Specialized GC in dental construction will have the knowledge to take on these intricacies. Specialized builders can end up saving you time and money as they will account for a level of detail in their design work that most GC wouldn’t even consider. When you hire a contractor, you also obtain access to a specialized network of information and resources. Professional builders generally have well-established relationships with reliable subcontractors like electricians and plumbers, and familiarity with the time it takes to complete various phases of the building process, which a novice owner-builder can lack. Remember, dental-specific contractors are easy to find: Your equipment specialist can likely put you in touch with contractors they’ve worked with, or you can look for contractors at your state annual session. You can also check with colleagues who may have valuable feedback about contractor performance. Looking for a Design-Build Construction Expert? Give Liberty Group Construction a call today! (888) 308-6869

Efficiently designed dental offices can cost more per SF

Depending on who you ask, the cost per square foot (SF) you should expect to pay for your new dental office varies. The only way you will truly know how much your project will cost is after it is designed, built, and completed. Cost per SF is the unit price per SF of finished space – a project’s actual total construction cost divided by total square footage. However, general contractors use “unit pricing” (e.g., cost per lineal foot of cabinetry) to estimate a project’s cost before it is designed. Understanding the difference is significant when deciphering “cost per SF” declarations.Unit pricing is a legitimate method for assigning costs to easily definable projects (e.g., general office, warehouses, Target store finish-outs) where the level of finish, construction methodology, lighting/HVAC infrastructure is “standard grade” or “repeated.” However, applying similar unit prices to dental facilities that have varying complexities – nitrous oxide, multizoned HVAC, multiple lighting needs, differing esthetics within varying square footages – can be deceiving and confusing.You can’t avoid references to cost per SF. You can, however, “qualify” assumptions made to avoid assigning unrealistic cost expectations to your project. Consider these points when calculating Cost per SF
  1. Cabinetry – Purchasing dental furniture eliminates this cost in construction. Building operatory, sterilization, and lab cabinetry raises the cost per SF for the same dental office. Arguably, the total cost for the equipped dental project is typically higher than that of the built-in dental project.
  2. Plumbed nitrous oxide – Plumbing nitrous oxide can add $15,000 to $ 20,000 in construction costs. The loss of convenience associated with mobile units for some is worth the savings.
  3. HVAC – Most dentists want to solve frustrating heating and cooling issues in their new office. To do so effectively, zoning the distribution of air (static areas – waiting, staff vs. dynamic operative areas) is critical and can add $3 to $5 per SF to a project’s cost beyond one-zoned systems.
Realize that a GC or dental supplier does not want to offer a “cost” that dissuades you from a project. Avoid the “spin” assumption that a low number is reality and a high number is inflated. The fact may be that neither is true. Defining a realistic cost for your project up front is paramount to a satisfactory and successful completion. Get to reality by challenging the “spin.” Reference: Cost per square foot ‘spin’, Jeff Carter, DDS, and Pat Carter, IIDA retrieved from: www.dentaleconomics.com

10 things you might want to add to your dental practice

When you are designing a commercial space you need to rely on your knowledge of materials that are on the market today. All the materials that you use in your office are going to make your practice unique, fresh and modern at the end of construction. Your space should be one that you desire to walk into everyday. Lots of dentists we consult with on remodeling their practices cant’ stand their carpet and dingy walls any longer. They are eager to ripe out old lighting and ceiling tiles and when demo day comes they welcome it. Seeing how their practice can look eases the anxiety of the construction process. Put these on your wish list, Get inspired!
  1. Flat screen in lobby
  2. New Flooring
  3. New Feature wall in Lobby
  4. New countertops
  5. New Artwork
  6. New Doors
  7. New Ceiling Tiles
  8. Under Cabinet Lighting
  9. New Lighting in exam rooms
  10. New Cabinets

Construction Site Surveillance

Millions of dollars are lost to construction equipment theft every year. The security challenge is difficult but technology now offers owners and construction managers the ability to have complete oversight of their project site. It should come as no surprise that with the thousands of dollars that are at play in most construction sites these days, construction companies now seek a diversity of security technologies to protect their assets. As a design-build company ourselves, we see great value in offering this kind of service to our clients. Want to have peace of mind? Make sure your contractor offers this type of service before signing any agreement. Consider this when adding security surveillance to your jobsite.
  1. Use security video combined with wireless communications to an off-site monitoring facility. This will provide you the convenience of monitoring your jobsite in realtime from virtually anywhere with a internet connection.
  2. Set up extra lighting and/or motion-censored lights around the jobsite. Darkness invites crime, so the more light you have the better the protection.
  3. Adding some type of barrier protection, like a fence or guardrail, makes it tougher for the bad guys to get in and to take your supplies out. Look for ways to keep the important items properly secured and protected with barriers.
  4. Having just one entry point in and out of your jobsite will cut down on crime. A popular trend right now is Geofencing, a virtual barrier using GPS to track behaviors using mobile phones. This has been particularly helpful for payroll and inventory.
  5. For those professional contractors that rely on their tools and equipment to get their jobs done it’s important to take safety precautions. Construction companies can become an easy target for theft — both during and after work hours.
  6. There are many ways that you can ensure tools and material goods are kept safe, from extra lighting around the jobsite to storing your tools in a lock tight storage box.
  7. While these tips will not guarantee your important items are always safe, it will strongly help deter theft and vandalism. Construction site crime cannot only cause financial hardship but also delay production schedules.

Multipurpose-room Design Strategy

Accessibility, ease of use, connectivity & collaboration define modern multipurpose spaces. Multipurpose rooms help maximize ROI by spreading AV and IT technology around a facility to maximize usage. Tips to consider when coming up with multipurpose-room strategy. Collaborate During the design stage, get input from every type of employee to see how they’re collaborating—and how they want to but currently can’t. What types of devices do they prefer? Tablets feeding projectors? Interactive whiteboards? Videoconferencing? Are most meetings an executive holding forth, or is there a lot of back and forth? If you’ll be using outside parties such as architects and AV integrators, include all of them as early as possible to avoid expensive change orders later. One common pitfall is putting meeting rooms on exterior walls to take in views. That design floods the room with light that often washes out displays and projectors, to the point that another $10,000 has to be found to pay for shades. Walls of windows also can produce temperature swings that force the HVAC system to run at a high rate, creating ambient noise that affects the mics’ ability to pick up speech. Adaptable furniture and gear Multipurpose rooms frequently have furniture and AV gear that can be moved around to support a variety of collaboration types, from lunch-and-learns to board meetings to all-hands sessions. So look for furniture that’s designed to provide flexibility, including for huddle rooms: small spaces designed for impromptu, Starbucks-style collaboration. Although WiFi and other wireless technologies have cut a lot of cords, plenty remain, such as for power. Getting everyone’s input about how they want to connect to AV systems ensures that the finished rooms don’t wind up with cables that are unsightly and trip hazards. Sound matters Microphones are key for effective collaboration in larger rooms, as well as smaller ones with remote participants. The better everyone can hear, the longer it takes for conferencing fatigue to set it. Regardless of the type of technology they use, wireless mics are worth considering because that’s one fewer set of wires to be a trip hazard or eyesore when a room is reconfigured. Years down the road, wireless mics also provide flexibility for accommodating meeting styles that weren’t invisioned when the space was first designed. Multidivisible and reconfigurable rooms are ideal for wireless mics, this is the main reason why our client The Forum decided to utilize them. Reserve ‘The Forum’ Conference Room for Your Next Event Customized For Your Needs: Designed for meetings, conference, presentation, or training. The room has a capacity of 35 people for classroom style and can be configured to meet your needs from a conference table, to a classroom, or theater seating. Fully Digital For Today’s Multi-Media Needs The room is equipped with a projector, a wide projection screen, a microphone system, individual work stations, and an integrated video and sound system to record or broadcast your meeting. Food & Beverage Breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus are available along with beverages and break snacks during the meeting. Or, you can host a lunch or dinner at one of the many restaurants within walking distance on Bethesda Avenue. Click here to learn more.